MAKE BRIGID’S DAY A NATIONAL HOLIDAY
In partnership with Lorna Evers Monaghan and Treacy O’Connor, Herstory has launched a campaign to make Brigid’s Day a national holiday.
In light of the many astounding achievements of women in Irish society and in our nation’s history, we believe it is time to honour Brigid, Ireland's triple goddess and matron Saint, by making February 1st a national holiday.
Brigid embodies the ancient triple goddess archetype: goddess of healing, fire and the Arts. Our matron Saint also represents true Christianity, renowned for her compassionate care for the poor and animals.
Whilst hearts around the world are being warmed by Ireland and St. Patrick in March, we believe it’s time to give some recognition and time for reflection to those in Ireland, with St. Brigid’s Day, welcoming the official start of Spring or Imbolg. The 2020 Herstory Light Festival will take place over the weekend of Brigid’s Day (Friday 31st January – Monday 3rd February 2020).
Just like St. Patrick’s Day was made an international success by our cherished diaspora, the Irish abroad are currently leading the way with Brigid’s celebrations, with Irish Embassies and Irish cultural centres marking the day with events honouring Irish women around the world. For reference, please see the The Irish Times article profiling St. Brigid’s Day events around the world in 2019. In truth, we have some catching up to do back home!
The last time Ireland allocated a public holiday was in 1993, to honour May Day. In fact, Ireland is 2-4 days behind the rest of Europe when it comes to public holidays, currently with 9 public holidays in the year, where most European countries have 11 -13 days. See Journal.ie article.
As we near the end of the Decade of Centenaries, we reflect on the vision of the founders of our nation and the historic 1916 Declaration of Independence, which made Ireland the first country in the world to promise equal rights to men, women and children.
A century later, we have made great strides towards realising the 1916 vision. Although there is much work ahead, the vision that was once perceived as visionary is now realistic. The evidence is in this decade’s extraordinary victories of compassion and equality: the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Referendum to Repeal the 8th Amendment.
The time has come to write a new story of unity and equality, by celebrating Ireland’s matron Saint Brigid equally to St. Patrick. Making Brigid’s Day a national holiday would be a true reflection on today’s Ireland, sending a strong egalitarian message to the world.