The Feast of Brigid falls tomorrow, and many households in the county will be gathering rushes to make their crosses today.
Many more families are joining the tradition this year during lockdown.
If it’s your first time creating a cross, or you’d like to try another variation, this guide from Dominie McDyer from Ballybofey will be helpful:
The distinctive St. Brigid’s Cross, made from woven rushes, is thought to keep evil, fire and hunger from the homes in which it is displayed.
The symbol began when St Brigid, Ireland’s only female patron saint, was by the sick bed of a dying pagan chieftain. She began telling the story of Christ on the Cross, picking up rushes from the ground to weave a cross using a distinctive pattern. The chieftain was so interested in her words that he was converted and asked to be baptised before his death.
Now, making a St. Brigid’s cross is one of the traditional rituals in Ireland to celebrate the beginning of early spring, 1st February.
If you’re making one this evening, Dominie’s top tip is : “Keep a good grip to prevent it from unravelling. Also some people like to cut the rushes to size before weaving to make it more manageable.”