Although apparently the weather hesitates in showing her happiness about the completion of winter season, I feel, smell and I can even see spring is there. Albeit the day appears to be dull there is always a glint of sun emerging unexpectedly. Sometimes I feel her nourishing warmth already, coming from above as at others the shine of the sun seems to permeate from deep down. After a time of withdrawal the earth has started to exhale again. As on the side of the road greens are sprouting as a heartily welcome to spring.
Between winter and spring
Among many other things the people of Inis Meáin are good at celebrating festivals. Well, with the arrival of spring, the month of February is an exquisite opportunity to share with us the coming festivities. They all have to do with a purge, a cleaning of body and soul and are celebrated on three days in a row.
The night’s turn into spring the girls of the primary school will go along the houses with ‘Bridóg’ or little Bride, in their midst. Bridóg is a nicely dressed doll out of straw made by the girls themselves. While the children do a dance, they sing a song in which we are advised to give something in change for a seven times better sleep, starting tonight, a whole year long. The following morning there will be Mass usually in which the self brought Bridget cross, symbol for warding off sickness from human beings and animals are blessed.
The day after is dedicated to Muire na gCoinneal or Candlemas in which everyone receives blessings for the coming year for renewal and healthiness. The third and the last day of festivities, is dedicated to Naomh Blaise, the patron who wards off illness of the throat.
With these celebrations the time of Christmas has been closed. Another year full of new possibilities lies ahead of us!
Revealing new possibilities
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin