Home – Brigid of Faughart Festival
Brigid of Faughart Festival
Wednesday 27th January- Monday 1st February 2016
The festival celebrates Brigid of Faughart, as both Saint and Goddess, and the Celtic Festival of Imbolc or Spring. The emphasis of the festival is to revisit and reclaim the richness of the traditions associated with Brigid of Faughart in ways which are relevant to our lives in the 21st Century.
Brigid as a poet, healer, manifester, initiator and many more of her aspects are explored through music, poetry, dance, story, landscape, folklore, spiritual customs, discussion and much more. Lectures and workshops will offer opportunities for expanding and deepening our knowledge of Brigid, for exploring the Wisdom that she was and still is and for integrating Feminine Consciousness more surely into contemporary culture.
Other festival activities include Workshops on Brigid, an annual Pilgrimage Walk to Faughart Shrine from Dundalk town; a walk exploring the sacred sites of Faughart and the heritage and legend associated with these. A night of poetry, story, song and music will be celebrated, St. Brigid’s Cross making workshops held and the ritual celebration of Brigid and the Festival of Imbolc.
The festival will also include a special Eucharist for St. Brigid’s Day at Faughart Shrine and a special day of healing, open to all. Everyone is welcome to attend any or all of the events during the festival. Further information can be found in our programme details.
To the north of Dundalk, Co Louth, Faughart is an ancient place filled with a history that is both gentle and fierce. It is a place associated with battles, boundaries and travel. The Sli Midhluachra, one of the 5 ancient roads of Ireland, runs through the hill of Faughart on its way from the Hill of Tara, to Armagh and then to the north coast of Ireland, making it a strategically important place.
However, Faughart is also a place of deep peace, tranquillity, beauty and healing, being associated from ancient times with Brigid, Pre-Christian Goddess and Christian Saint . Brigid holds the energy of the Divine Feminine within the Celtic Spiritual tradition. The mystical woman St. Moneena was also associated with Faughart before she moved to the quieter place near Kileavy, Co Armagh, where she created her monastery . So over the centuries, Faughart has been a place where the polarities of inner and outer life, battles and prayers have been experienced. For the people in Louth, Monaghan, Armagh and Down, Faughart is the place associated with Brigid, the compassionate woman who heals, advises and nurtures all who come to her in times of need. People are drawn to her shrine at Faughart because of the deep peace they experience there. Brigid’s peaceful presence can be experienced in this landscape where the ancient beech trees radiate old knowledge and hold a compassionate space for us all.
People, of all ages and from all walks of life, come to Faughart throughout the year to honour and pray to Brigid. However on La Feile Bhride (Feb 1st) people come in their multitudes! On this special day the shrine at Faughart is thronged with pilgrims who come to invoke Brigid’s blessing on their emerging lives. Brigid is associated with springtime and new life emerging. She is the one who “breathes life into the mouth of dead winter.”