A HOST of impressive Irish women have signed up for the annual St Brigid’s Day Festival London which kicks off in the capital this month.
Organised by the Irish Embassy, in collaboration with Festival partners the London Irish Centre, Irish Cultural Centre, and Irish Film London, the event – which celebrates women, marks St Brigid’s Day and welcomes the arrival of Spring – has consistently grown in popularity since it was launched at the Irish Embassy in London in 2018.
February 1st honours St Brigid, the fifth-century nun from Co. Kildare who is said to have performed miracles and healed the sick.
Brigid is one of Ireland’s three patron saints, sitting alongside St Columba and the world-renowned St Patrick.
February 1 is the Celtic first day of spring, also known as Imbolc.
For the 2020 St Brigid’s Day Festival, the Embassy will host their annual celebration on Thursday, January 30.
Elsewhere, the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith will host a Celtic music extravaganza of Ireland and the UK’s finest female musicians, including The London Lasses, The Friel Sisters, plus special guests Mairéad Ni Mohoanaigh and Nia Byrne, on Saturday, February 1.
On the same day, the London Irish Centre will celebrate female Irish talent with a night of musical and spoken word performances.
Irish Film London will be bringing some of Ireland’s finest female filmmakers, both behind and in front of the camera, to the Regent Street Cinema on Sunday, February 2, including the London Premiere of A Girl From Mogadishu.
A spokesperson for the Irish Embassy in London told The Irish Post: “We are excited to announce that we will host a Brigid’s Day celebration at the Embassy on 30th January 2020, for the third year running.
“We're looking forward to hearing the experiences and witnessing the talent of the outstanding women who will be performing and speaking at all our events.”
They explained: “The St Brigid’s Day Festival London began in 2018 when we decided that it was time for St Patrick to share the limelight.
“Brigid’s Day seemed like the ideal occasion to celebrate the enormous creativity and talent of women and we are delighted that the day is now celebrated at Irish Embassies and Consulates worldwide.”
Regarding the significance of St Brigid’s Day, the spokesperson explained: “The origins of [St Brigid’s] Feast Day on February 1 are thought to originally be a pagan festival called Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring.
“Lá Fhéile Bríde, celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days, so please come and say goodbye to winter and celebrate the creativity of women with us and our brilliant partners this year.”
The Irish Embassy will be making a number of tickets available on Eventbrite for their Janaury 30 event.