Faoi bhrat bhríde sinn
(we are under the cloak of Brigid)
Saint Brigid’s Day takes place each year on February 1st. St. Brigid was born in Ireland about 450 A.D. She and her parents were baptized by St. Patrick, with whom Brigid maintained a close friendship. In her adult life she started many convents and became the first Abbess of Ireland. She also founded a school of art at which many famous illuminated manuscripts were created, including the Book of Kildare. Many miracles are attributed to St. Brigid.
For our celebration we made St. Brigid’s Sweet Bannock (see recipe below), and we also made some St. Brigid’s Crosses out of pipe cleaners. This is such an easy craft—even a three year old can do it! I used this tutorial. We also read a lovely book called Brigid’s Cloak , written by Bryce Milligan with watercolor pictures by Helen Cann. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Brigid’s overwhelming generosity toward those in need, and the origins of her miraculous cloak. The bannock took virtually no time to prepare, and the crosses were a nice afternoon craft for the kids. Feasts and festivals don’t have to involve an overwhelming amount of work—little celebrations can be just as meaningful as big ones.
St. Brigid’s Sweet Bannock, adapted from a recipe by Tressabelle
½ cup salted butter (1 stick)
¼ cup honey
2 cups white or wheat flour (I used whole wheat which made a very dense bannock)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
¼ – ½ cup buttermilk (you can make this using regular milk with a bit of vinegar)
*to make vegan: use vegan butter in place of dairy butter; use agave nectar or maple syrup in place of honey; and use any type of non-dairy milk mixed with about a tablespoon of lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar in place of buttermilk (add juice or vinegar first, and then fill to the desired measuring line).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and honey together. Mix the dry ingredients together and stir into the butter-honey mixture. Add buttermilk until a dough forms (I need a little over ¼ cup). Roll into a ball and flatten onto a greased cookie sheet. Cut a cross into the top with a knife. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
For more ideas and inspiration for celebrating St. Brigid’s Day, visit my Pinterest board!