The Irish Peatland  Conservation Council based at the Bog of Allen Nature Centre in Lullymore, Co. Kildare would like to help you celebrate St. Bridget’s  day on the first day of February by helping you to make your own St. Bridget’s cross.

The first of February also marks the first day of spring.  On this day St. Bridget is said to bring light awakening the land and bringing the possibility of new growth.

There are four main styles of St. Bridget cross, each popular in different parts of Ireland..  The cross is made from rushes that should be pulled rather than cut from a bog, damp field or river bank.  The botanical names of the plants used are Juncus effusus (Luachair, Common Rush) and Schoeoplectus lacustris (Bois-shithbhín, Club Rush).

St. Bridget’s crosses offer homes protection from fire, lightening, infectious diseases and the evil eye.

You will need scissors, bundle of rushes and string or wool, you can visit www.ipcc.ie and enter ‘Bogs in the Classroom’ from the homepage and choose the art module (http://www.ipcc.ie/bicartpr3.html) for detailed instructions.   Alternatively visit IPCC on Facebook or send a stamped address envelope to the Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare and we would be happy to send you a hard copy of the instructions.