Wednesday, 11 February 2015

End of winter

The last day of winter for us is St. Bridget’s Eve, and this was a beautiful fresh sunny day, with a gentle wind two points south of west. This last day of winter put on a pleasant appearance as if it were saying, “I was soft and easy with you for the last three months, and now, as we are going to part, let us shake hands with each other in a friendly manner. Good bye!”

On St. Bridget’s Eve the little girls go from door to door with brideogs, images of St. Bridget dressed up in lovely clothes, asking for halfpennies – and getting them – to have a party for themselves, just as the young boys do with the wren in the holly branch on St. Stephen’s Day.

- From the diary of Tomas de Bhaldraithe, 31st January 1827, in The Diary of an Irish Countryman.

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