Celebrations of St. Brigid are now extending beyond St. Brigid’s Day
By Irish Echo Staff
The celebration of St. Patrick’s is not confined to just one day. There is a season.
The celebration of St. Brigid is embracing the seasonal aspect too.
Today, February 1, is St. Brigid’s Day.
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But celebrations surrounding who is effectively Ireland’s woman patron saint are reaching into the second month of the year and what was the first month of spring in the old Celtic calendar.
And that’s very much the case here in the U.S. where the Irish Embassy in Washington and consulates in major cities are holding a variety of events devoted to Brigid.
And as with St. Patrick, the celebrations are also breaking through the barriers surrounding a single month.
Irish Ambassador to the U.S., Dan Mulhall, hosted a dinner on January 28 for former Irish president Mary Robinson and 24 women leaders.
The dinner, said an embassy release, “effectively launched our St. Brigid’s Day/Lá Fhéile Bríde celebrations.”
Stated the embassy: “In February 2019, each of Ireland’s U.S. missions will celebrate St. Brigid’s Day by hosting an event to highlight the creativity and contribution of Irish and Irish-American Women reflecting the wide variety of fields our women have impacted in the U.S. So whether you are in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco or Washington, D.C. do join us in our celebrations!”
Ahead of the various events, Ambassador Mulhall said: “It is wonderful that we will celebrate this year the significant contribution Irish and Irish-American women have made in the U.S.
“I’m delighted that each of our missions across the U.S. is taking part in these inaugural St. Brigid’s Day events. There are countless untold stories of innumerable women immigrants and this is the beginning of our government’s effort to acknowledge and celebrate their contribution.
“Our celebration will continue all the way to St. Patrick’s Day. While March is a special month for Irish America, it also marks Women’s History Month which makes it appropriate that we focus on the contribution of Irish-American women. We will focus on celebrating 17 women who have made such definitive and lasting impacts on the countries they called home.”
According to the embassy release the events being held are as follows: Atlanta- February 1st, The Consulate’s first ever First Friday breakfast will celebrate Irish and Irish American women in Atlanta.
Austin – February 1st: the Consulate will celebrate the culture and creativity of Irish women with Irish violinist Niamh Fahy.
Boston – February 12th: the Consulate will celebrate Women in Science in conjunction with Science Foundation Ireland and Boston College. The panel discussion will feature leading women in STEM, as well as remarks from Minister for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciarán Cannon.
Chicago – February 2nd: the Consulate is partnering with the Trinity Irish Dance company to celebrate Women in Dance on the Auditorium Theatre’s historic stage in Chicago.
New York – February 1st: the Consulate will host its First Friday St. Brigid’s Day Networking Breakfast and on 6 February, the Consulate, partnering with 100 Women in Finance, is hosting an event to mark the achievements of Women in Financial Services.
San Francisco – February 1st: Renowned Irish poet Eavan Boland will be the keynote speaker at an evening event at the University of San Francisco. This event also includes a panel discussion to celebrate the accomplishments of Irish and Irish-American women from the bay area, featuring Anita Sands (Irish born Board Member of Symantec), Joanne Hayes-White (Irish-American Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department), Moira Gunn (Irish-American Associate Professor at USF and a former NASA scientist) and Naomi Kelly (San Francisco City Administrator).
Washington, D.C. February 7th will see a Women in Politics event taking place at Georgetown Law Center. Deputies Frances Fitzgerald and Joan Burton have reached the highest Government office held by a woman in Ireland, both serving as Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister).
They will discuss issues faced by women who have served their country at the highest level. Ciairín de Buis, CEO of Women for Election will discuss how more women are entering the political stage and Ambassador Morella will discuss the change in policy making as more women have entered into politics in the US, while Niamh King, a non-resident fellow on global cities and women and global development at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will moderate.