Saint Brigitte ( St. Brigit, approx. 451 — February 1, 525 ) — is one of the three most revered saints of Ireland, which also include St. Patrick and St. Columbus Kille. The most popular tradition says that St. Brigita was a midwife of the Virgin Mary.
It was believed that on the eve of his holiday, St. Brigita travels around the country, blessing people and their homes. As a symbol of the fact that in this house she is welcome and looking forward to visiting her, a pie or pieces of bread with butter ( in some parts of Ireland specially baked bread in the form of a cross ) was laid on the windowsill. Nearby they laid several ears of corn for her beloved white cow.
No matter how poor the house is, but any mistress always tried to cook a gala dinner or at least one festive dish. The traditional treat was apple pies, poppy pies, pancakes, wheat or barley cakes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Be sure to serve ( oil on the table specially lost in the morning ). In honor of the saint, who became famous for his generosity, and in order to ensure wealth and prosperity next year, more affluent owners treated their less fortunate neighbors with oil and milk. Sometimes on this occasion they cut sheep and distributed meat to friends and just those in need.
They say that once St. Brigita visited the dying ruler-pagan and baptized him with a cross woven immediately from the reed. From here came the custom on the day of St. Brigita to weave reed or reed crosses to protect the house throughout the next year. Crosses woven on this day are attached above the door instead of last year, which the owners take off and keep in the house.
On this day, you can see handkerchiefs hung on linen ropes everywhere. This is done in order to ensure the health of all family members for the whole next year. Previously, strips of fabric or tape ( they were called the mantiums of Brigita ). It was believed that if the saint touched them, then they would acquire healing properties.
In the old days, mummers went from house to house and carried a straw doll with them. It was called Brideg ( Brideog ). The guys accompanying her ( Biddie Boys ) sang and danced, and the owners thanked them with sweets, pies and money.