This festival celebrates Brigid as goddess, Celtic Christen saint and wise woman of the 21st century. The festival also celebrates the festival of Imbolc, as the new growing light transforms the dark fallow time of winter and supports the re-awakening of the earth and the emergence of new life.
The festival creates opportunities to learn from her wisdom, through talks, workshops, discussion forums, pilgrimage and many experiential events including storytelling, cross making, sound, music, dance, poetry, art exhibitions, gardening, walking pilgrimage, healing and rituals. It also allows like-minded people to meet, converse and perhaps create new possibilities together. TheBrigid of Faughart Festival is organised by a group of people, who came together in 2008 with the vision of offering the wisdom of Brigid in ways relevant to our contemporary society. The emphasis of this unique 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. This ancient spiritual tradition is explored through myth, landscape, folklore, spiritual customs, visual arts, poetry, music and dance. A deeper underlying aim of the festival is to act as a catalyst for the recovery of the presence of the feminine energy and the Divine feminine within our daily lives. At the beginning of the 2009 festival members of the Brigid of Faughart group travelled to Solas Bhride in Kildare, and brought a light from the Brigid flame which had been re-lit in Kildare in 1993. This symbolic act consciously reconnected these two major Irish centres of devotion to Brigid and reunited her primary symbols of Fire and Water.
While the personnel involved in the festival has changed over the years, the vision of the festival remains dynamically stable! Brigid (Mhuire Na Gael) occupies a central role within the Celtic Spiritual tradition, and holds the energy of the Divine Feminine, which is a central pillar within the mythological imagination of this land of Ireland. The Brigid Festival is one way in which to reconnect with that tradition and energy.
Faughart near Dundalk Co Louth is a significant place in the ritual landscape of Ireland. It is an ancient place filled with a history that is both gentle and fierce. While it is a place associated with battles, boundaries and travel, Faughart is also a place of deep peace, tranquillity, beauty which has a special energy that is tangible here at all times, a significant place, been associated from ancient times with Brigid, pre- Christian Goddess and Christian Saint. 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.” Faughart is located on the north-eastern side of Ireland which corresponds to the location of the festival of Imbolc in the Celtic ritual calendar uniting two important aspects sacred time and sacred space creating for the pilgrim a heightened experience of the energy of the place This is the magic that is available at Faughart for those who come with an open heart.
The organising group for the 2018 Festival include Regina Byrne, Dolores Whelan, Stephanie O’Hanlon, Sorcha Brophy, Maura Lennon, Jane McEvoy, Una Curley and Carol McElroy with secretarial assistance from Karen McDowell
The 2018 Brigid of faughart Festival is working in collaboration with the An Tain Arts Centre, the Louth County Library, the Louth Heritage Forum and the Oriel Centre.
Download programme from www.brigidoffaughart.ie