St Brigid is ready to banish the Covid blues from our lives with the return of the renowned festival, Féile Bríde.
Browsing through this year's programme, it is a great delight to see that there are a number of in-person events as well as online seminars and activities.
Running from January 31 to February 6, the festival, which is organised by the Solas Bhride Centre & Hermitages on the outskirts of Kildare town, honours the county's patron saint.
"Although it is disappointing that St Brigid’s day 2022 has not been declared a national holiday we are still pleased to offer a blend of online and in-person events to celebrate St Brigid of Kildare and the arrival of spring," said the organisers.
One of the highlights of the festival is the pilgrimage to St Brigid's Wayside Well at 4pm on January 31. This event always attracts a lot of interest.
A meditative walk will take place on February 1 led by the Solas Bhríde Team and Cairde Bhríde at Solas Bhríde at 11am. Numbers are limited for this event so booking is required.
On the same day there will be an in-person and an online event held at Solas Bhríde. Join Margaret Walsh and Brenda Kindregan (Cairde Bhríde) as they revisit the customs and traditions associated with St Brigid and explore how they might speak to us today.
The in-person event takes place in the afternoon while the online event will be held in the evening. Booking is required for both events.
The organisers will celebrate our journey with Brigid through dance and story on February 2 with a sacred dance session at 10.30am.
"Bring joy and harmony to your heart at this Springtime of the year. Easy steps to beautiful music guided by Terry Hennessy and Betty White. This is a wonderfully uplifting experience and is an event not to be missed," said Cairde Bhríde.
Booking is required.
On February 2, Brenda Kindregan from Cairde Bhríde invites those in attendance to join with her as they explore "through dialogue, story/legend, poetry, and meditation of what animates, informs, nurtures, and sustains our soul journey as we endeavour to become true caretakers of ourselves, of one another, and of our planet".
This event takes place at 7.30pm and booking is required.
On Febuary 3 a special event titled War and Explore: The hidden secrets of the Curragh takes place at 2.30pm. Traditionally known as Brigid’s Pastures, The Curragh is unique in its natural and cultural heritage. Dr Mary O’Connor, an Ecological Consultant together with members of Cairde Bhríde will lead you on a walk on the Little Curragh where you will be introduced to its unique species-diverse and interesting flora and fauna.
Booking is required.
This years Celtic Lecture featuring Deirdre Ní Chinnéide takes place on February 3 at 7.30pm at the Kildare Education Centre.
Titled Brigid, Woman of Wisdom - Woman of Peace, Her Relevance and Inspiration for Today, during this online presentation, Deirdre will weave through the life and charism of Brigid and her relevance for our lives today. Through input, music, reflection, conversation and prayer, we will draw on the unfolding spiral of her support and guidance especially during these challenging and uncertain times.
Deirdre Ní Chinnéide is a former school principal, psychotherapist, spiritual director and composer and performer of spiritual music. She facilitates workshops and retreats at home and abroad in the area of Celtic Spirituality.
The Aran islands off the west coast of Ireland with its unique history, culture and natural beauty, provides a special setting for her Retreat Centre, Slí Aonghusa. She has composed two acclaimed albums of music Celtic Passage and I will sing for you and she is co–author with her sister Mary Kennedy of the book Journey to the Well, Connecting to Celtic ways and wisdom (Hachette Publications).
Afri’s Féile Bríde Online Justice and Peace Conference is being held on Febuary 5. Entitled Moving towards the light - meeting the Challenges of Conflict and Climate, it will be delivered online.
Meanwhile, Solas Bhríde and Kildare Town Library are proud to be associated with the Book of Kildare 2022 featuring new development of the Illuminated Pages Collection in original painting and calligraphy by Josephine Hardiman, inspired by our ancient manuscripts, heritage and celtic art.
The display will be on view to library users throughout the month of February in Kildare Town Library. Booking is essential.
Kildare Heritage Centre will hold walking tours around Kildare Town's monastic sites, and visitors may also like to visit the Legends of Kildare Virtual Reality experience. To celebrate Lá Féile Bríde plants/seeds will be distributed outside the Kildare Heritage Centre on February 1.
Visit the Kildare Heritage website or Facebook page for updates on events.
Other Féile Bríde events include online meditation, mass at St Brigid's well and a talk on reclaiming Ireland's language and diversity.
Digital Covid vaccine certificates are required for all indoor events.
For full details log on to https://solasbhride.ie/feile-bride/
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