THE PIONEERING role of Irish women is to be celebrated around the world for St Brigid's Day.
More than 30 Irish Embassies and Consulates have organised events as part of the Department of Foreign Affairs' fifth international St Brigid's Day programme.
St Brigid is one of Ireland's three patron saints and the origins of her Feast Day on February 1 are rooted in the pagan festival of Imbolc.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate women's vibrant voices, and their extraordinary, transformative power," said Anne Anderson, former Ambassador of Ireland to the US and the EU.
Since the inaugural St Brigid's Day event at the Irish Embassy in London in 2018, the DFA's celebrations have grown into an expanded programme of events across the globe.
This year's programme will celebrate the achievements of women and acknowledge women's contribution across the world.
It will focus on the transformative and empowering nature of women's contribution to all spheres of life.
To Be Irish on St Brigid's Day programme is LIVE! Celebrate the amazing achievements and vibrant voices of women with a programme of events from around the world. 🥳 Discover the lineup at https://t.co/n6fgDMN8ab. #ToBeIrish #StBrigidsDay @dfatirl
— ToBeIrish (@ToBeIrish) January 26, 2022
For the first time, the programme's events will be shared online through the DFA's To Be Irish website and social media channels.
Among other places, celebrations will take place in London, Paris, Berlin, Lisbon, Lilongwe, Mexico City, New York and Stockholm.
"I look forward to participating in our St Brigid's Day event in Brussels," added Ms Anderson.
"It marks 50 years of Ireland's EU membership and celebrates Irish women who have helped to shape the EU during that time."
Colm Brophy, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, welcomed the programme's online expansion.
"The Department of Foreign Affairs has been organising a special St Brigid's Day programme since 2018 — honouring the contributions of trailblazing women to our Diaspora, to Ireland and to the world," he said.
"This is the first year that we are taking this programme online — to share the amazing performances, seminars and other discussions which take place at Irish Embassies and Consulates at this time of year and to connect these with inspiring Brigid's Day events taking place here in Ireland."
The pagan Imbolc festival honoured Brigid as the goddess of poetry, healing and fire and marked the beginning of spring.
The day is also seen as a way to celebrate women and the Celtic goddess' heritage as a "symbol of feminine energy".
Lá Fhéile Bríde celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and an emergence from the darkness of winter.