Seasons

Celebrate Traditions–Happy St. Brigid’s Day–Ireland’s First Day of Spring

St. Brigid is one of Ireland’s most popular saints–second only to St. Patrick who was responsible for her conversion.  Her feast day coincides with ancient Imbolc which heralds the return of Spring.  Brigid shares the name of the Celtic goddess that is associated with Spring, fertility, and healing.  St. Brigid was born to a pagan father, who was a chieftain, and a Christian mother, who was a slave.  Hence Brigid was born a slave and spent part of her childhood in slavery.

St. Brigid was known for her charity and freely gave whatever she had to the poor.  When just a child she gave away all the butter in her home to help feed the poor.  It is said to have been miraculously replenished when St. Brigid prayed.  Butter plays a part in some of the traditions that are celebrated on St. Brigid’s Day.  One of  these traditions includes dressing the butter churn as St. Brigid.  Another is to leave butter outside on the window sill so that St. Brigid can bless it on the eve of her feast day.  It is said she visits homes throughout Ireland to bestow a blessing on that very night.  The story of St. Brigid and the butter is captured here in this book for ages 4-7 that shares the delightful story of St. Brigid’s charity.   http://amzn.to/2nAvb6Y   (not an affiliate link)

St. Brigid is known for founding a monastery called the Church of the Oak on the site of a pagan shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid.  She is known for helping to establish communal consecrated religious life for women in Ireland.  She also established two monastic institutions–one for men and the other for women.  In addition, she is credited with founding a school of art that was known for metalwork and illumination.  The Book of Kildare, which was lost during the Reformation, was created at the school and was said to have been so beautifully illuminated it was as if done by angels.

The most common symbol of the day is St. Brigid’s cross which is made from rushes or straw.  The tradition includes making a cross that would then be hung within the home or at the front door as a symbol of blessing and protection of the home from fire.

Making your own St. Brigid’s cross is a simple way to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day.  Follow this link for a larger picture of the instructions below:  http://www.carrigalineparish.ie/download/st-brigids-cross/

 

You can discover more about St. Brigid and the traditions of this day at Irish Central by following this link:   https://goo.gl/qGHzHC

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing

Marian McCoy Boveri

 

Sources:  Wikipedia

Catholic Online

 

Celebrate Traditions–Motherhood and Mother’s Day

“It is the most profound work of motherhood that a  mother prepares her family for a world she will never see.  She creates the connection to the generations past and the generations to come.  Traditions by their very essence create this connection and keep her work alive.”  ~ Marian Boveri

 

Generations to Come

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~An Old Irish Blessing~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Celebrate Traditions–Happy Mother’s Day!

What a beautiful and touching blog post from Natasha Lehrer Lewis

about her mother’s belief in the ability to put back together again an old tattered teddy bear. Indeed it even received a newly-knitted red sweater.

On this Mother’s Day, may all the broken people receive a mother’s love–whether from their own or another. I pray that the broken, tattered pieces of you are repaired. May others then gather around you and knit you a brand new sweater.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~An Old Irish Blessing~

Marian McCoy Boveri

 

Valentine Tradition–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 14: Gifts of Love

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Giving gifts to the one you love is a tradition on St. Valentine’s Day.  The beauty of St. Valentine’s Day is that a simple homemade card will do the job just as well as a fancy gift.  The tradition of giving cards began as early the 15th century.  Flowers became a  gift tradition as early as the 17th century.  Chocolate was put into heart-shaped boxes and became a favorite gift in the early 19th century.  In the Victorian era, gloves were the gift of choice.

Whether you are in love or are still looking for that certain someone, the truth of St. Valentine’s Day is that anyone can be your Valentine.  Love is a universal language that can be expressed to all.  So if you’re still looking for your Valentine just write a simple note and give it to someone with the words:  “Won’t you be my Valentine?”  If you don’t have a note, just ask!  This simple gift will surely bring to both of you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Won’t you be my Valentine?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 14:
Gifts of Love

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentines’ Day 13: Pink

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The color pink is created by mixing red and white together.  Pinks can range from the palest pink to the deepest magenta.  Pink is considered to represent innocence, sweetness, affection, understanding, and friendship.

Fun fact:  In the early 1900s, clothing retailers advocated dressing boys in pink and girls in blue because pink was considered the stronger color and blue the more delicate one.

Depending on the color, a pink rose takes on different meanings:

  • Light pink denotes gentleness and admiration;
  • Medium pink for a first love, congratulations, or to cheer up a friend; and
  • Dark pink denotes appreciation, gratitude, and “thank-you”.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 13:
Pink

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

 

 

 

 

 

Source of rose color meanings:  http://bit.do/pinkrosemeaning

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 12: White

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

White is another color traditionally associated with St. Valentine’s Day.  White is the absence of all color and in that is considered to be pure.  In its purity white has become the favorite for bridal attire and lace.  White is also a symbol of faith and on St. Valentine’s Day denotes the faith between two in love.

A white rose signifies innocence and purity as well as new beginnings.  They are also used as a gesture of remembrance and say, “I’m thinking of you.”

 

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 12:
White

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 11: Red

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Red is a familiar color for St. Valentine’s Day and it is full of symbolism in itself.  Red is the color of blood which is considered to be life in itself.  Red is considered the color of passion and in this the color of love.  In turn giving something red on St. Valentine’s Day is considered to be romantic.

A red rose represents love, courage, beauty, respect, romantic love, sincere love, and in particular passionate love. They can say: “I love you” or “Job well done”. Different shades of red signify different love messages:

  • A typical red rose represents passionate love;
  • A bright red rose signifies romance; and
  • A deep burgundy rose signifies love yet to be realized.

 

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 11:
Red

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

red rose info source:  http://www.rkdn.org/roses/colors.asp and http://bit.do/redrosemeaning

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 10: Chocolate

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The giving of chocolate for Valentine’s Day gained popularity during the Victorian era when Richard Cadbury saw the days as a good marketing opportunity.  He created the heart-shaped box in 1861 and marketed it has having a dual purpose:  One for giving a beautiful gift and the other for storing keepsakes in a beautiful box.  Decorative boxes grew more elaborate until the outbreak of World War II when sugar was rationed and the celebration of Valentine’s Day was scaled down.

Hershey’s chocolate kiss was created in 1907.  Russell Stover began as early as 1923 wrapping chocolates and eventually putting them in heart-shaped boxes and which remain one of the best selling Valentine’s chocolates today.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 10:
Chocolate

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 9: Conversation Hearts

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

The first conversation candy was created in 1866 when Daniel Chase, brother of the creator of NECCO candies, discovered a way to print messages on candy using vegetable dye. They were an instant hit. The conversation heart shape emerged in 1902 and has been a Valentine tradition for 115 years! While the original size of the candies has diminished, more phrases were added throughout the years.

Keeping up with the times one of the latest sayings is “text me”. However modern the sayings introduced each year, every Valentine still loves to find the one that says, “true love”, “be mine” or better still “kiss me”.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 9:
Conversation Hearts

 

“Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri

Valentine Traditions–Along the Way to St. Valentine’s Day 8: Hands

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day…

Paper hands were a popular 19th century love St. Valentine’s Day symbol that were often given as a love token. Considered a symbol of courtship as a man would propose by asking a lady for her hand, the lady’s hand appeared on both handmade and printed Valentines. A lady’s hand also symbolized femininity and as such was often decorated with a frilly cuff and a ring on the third finger.

Along the way to St. Valentine’s Day 8:
Hands

 

Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~ An Old Irish Blessing ~

Marian McCoy Boveri