On the eve of the Saint Brigid's s Holy day (February 1) , a "Brideog" procession would carry a large doll around the village, stopping at houses at on the way and offering songs of celebration. Families would offer hospitality in the form of "Bridecakes" ( Oatcakes), ale, cider or milky tea ( all associated with St. Brigid). The details of the doll had many regional variations. Sometimes, the doll was a great work of art all dressed like a bride all in white. In others, the figures were simply made out of straw or wheat, scraps of cloth or articles of old clothing. A small bed was made and kept by the front door or by the hearth, lined with flannel, felt or moss, ready to welcome Brigid and her spirit of light and abundance into the home.
Four variants on a "Brideog" by Polly Paton-Brown
Here are Polly's step-by-step instructions to create your own Brideog doll using simple materials you will likely have already at home. As she lovingly describes, the most important part of its creation is the setting of your own intention in your heart. What do you wish to welcome into your life in the coming year?
You can upload and then print Pplly's instructions by selecting the downwards pointing arrow at the bottom right hand corner below.