February 1st: it’s the day of the midwife!..

I have been advised that today, February 1st,  is St Bride’s day – the Celtic patron saint for midwives.  The pagan goddess  Brigit was  associated with fertility, childbirth, and cattle. On her feast day – which is also the Gaelic spring festival of Imbolc – Highland girls made the ‘last sheaf’ of the previous harvest into images of her, which were laid in a decorated cradle called ‘Bride’s bed’. Her flower is the snowdrop…

In Ireland it is  St Brigid’s day,   where ‘the  Bride of Kildare’ is said to have helped the Virgin give birth to Jesus and in so doing became known as  the protector of pregnant women and midwives. She also cared for Mary’s cows, hence her other title, ‘Christ’s milkmaid’.

For general (non academic purposes ) interest…

Wikipedia article: Brigit of Kildare

Have a good day,

Janette Allotey

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