Unmasking the distinctive St. Brigid’s Cross design

What is the meaning of St. Brigid’s Cross?

The first day February each year is a special date in the Irish calendar and marks St. Brigid’s Day and is traditionally seen at the start of spring in Ireland. For centuries it has been customary on the eve of her Feast Day for the Irish people to fashion a St. Brigid’s Cross and place it inside the house over the door. St. Brigid’s Day symbolises the ushering in of a new season of hope, growth and new beginnings and was typically recognised as a time of joy and celebration.

The distinctive St. Brigid’s Cross design, constructed from woven rushes, has four arms which are tied at the end and a woven square found in the middle. It is believed to keep evil, fire and hunger from the homes in which it is displayed. The tale of its creation is a little more unclear, and there appears to be no definitive version.

Where does St. Brigid’s Cross get its name?

Brigid was born in Dundalk in 450 AD and was one of Ireland’s three patron saints. St.Brigid, also known as “Mary of the Gael” is said to have created the first unique cross which now bears her name. Additionally, she was an early Irish Christian nun, abbess and the founder of the Irish monastery in County Kildare.

From what we know, the legend of St. Brigid goes something like this:

There was an old pagan Chieftain who lay delirious on his deathbed in Kildare (some believe this was her father) and his servants summoned Brigid to his beside in the hope that the saintly woman may calm his restless spirit. Brigid is said to have sat by his bed, consoling and calming him and it is here that she picked up the rushes from the floor and began weaving them into the distinctive cross pattern. She explained the meaning of the cross to the sick Chieftain while she weaved, and it is thought her calming words brought inner peace to his soul. He was so enamoured by her words that the old Chieftain requested that he be baptised as a Christian just before his passing.

St. Brigid’s emblem, the iconic rush cross, continues to be used in Irish designs, with many modern designers integrating the popular Irish symbol into their creations and designs of celtic jewelry and Irish gifts.


A timeless Claddagh tradition

For the large Irish Diaspora in the United States, celtic symbolism is often seen as unique way of celebrating Irish heritage and ancestry. The US Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are approximately 39.6 million people living in the United States who claim to have full or partial Irish ancestry.

The Irish have long been associated with having a significant impact in shaping the development of America during its formative years. The Irish communities tended to congregate in the large urban sprawls of New York, Chicago and Boston, and their influence could often be evident in public service such as the police and fire departments. As late as the 1960s, it was estimated that approximately over 40% of the New York’s Police Department claimed Irish American heritage.

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Irish gift ideas for Mother’s Day

The lead up to Mother’s day is always filled with last minute dashes to the florist and chocolate aisles in the supermarket.  Mother’s day always manages to creep up on us, partly because the date changes every year but mostly because it’s one of the few important dates that our mothers don’t send us a reminder text about.

You hear it mentioned on the radio, see it advertised at the supermarket but only when you hear a colleague mentioning it’s in two days’ time that you actually acknowledge its rapid approach. You frantically try to think of something creative and thoughtful, but incredibly, despite spending so much time with your mom (literally from the moment you are born), you have no idea what to buy her! Mothers spend your youth buying you presents and organising your birthdays, it’s somewhat disjointed when things are suddenly the other way around.

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Irish themed gift ideas for St. Patrick’s Day

When we think of gift giving two dates for the diary, in particular, stand out during the month March, namely Mother’s Day and the less traditional gift giving occasion but just as fun filled for the millions of Irish Diaspora across the world… St. Patrick’s Day.

Ireland’s national holiday not only sees much of the island stop and celebrate for the day but also much of the world quite literally goes green for St. Patrick’s Day. Many wouldn’t necessarily associate the St. Patrick’s festival as a traditional gift giving occasion but it is often the perfect opportunity to get into the spirit of things and treat family and friends across the world to all sorts of of traditional and novelty Irish gifts. The beauty of St. Patrick’s Day gifts is that they can range from a traditional style shamrock adorned piece of celtic jewelry or sprigs of shamrock to the more ridiculous leprechaun hats, Guinness T-Shirts or Shamrock Silk Tie.

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4 Reasons Aran Knitwear Will Make a Ridiculously Sweet Christmas Gift

Only a few more sleeps left! Christmas is a magical time to be surrounded by family tradition. If you’re being reunited with your loved ones this season, here are some heart-warming reasons why Aran knitwear is a perfect gift for the most special people in your life.

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5 Totally Irish Gift Ideas For Those Living Abroad

Spending the holiday season away from family and friends can be tough. Here are some very Irish gift ideas, so you can send a little piece of home to your loved one this Christmas.

Celtic Jewelry

A unique and intricately designed piece of Celtic jewelry is an investment that can be passed down through the family’s generations. A gold or silver Claddagh ring is a symbol that will never go out of style. Each part of the creation has a special meaning. The heart represents love, the hands symbolize friendship and the crown means loyalty. A truly thoughtful and sentimental Christmas gift for a special lady in your life.

Surprise Snack Box

Quite literally the box of dreams! You can’t beat some home-grown produce to tantalize those taste buds. Just imagine how excited your pal’s face will be when you post them a surprise box filled with their all-time favourites such as Cadbury’s chocolate, Barry’s Tea, Taytos, Ballymaloe Relish and more.

Penney’s Haul

Thousands of Irish fashionistas around the world will most certainly be missing their pre-Christmas shopping spree on the high street this year. No shop will come close to the fabulous finds and budget-friendly accessories that can be found in this retail mecca. The ideal gift for a twenty-something living abroad, a package stashed with beauty products, fake tan, socks and a onesie will be the ultimate treat. Thanks hun, Penneys!

Aran Sweater

An Aran Sweater will instil sweet memories of The Wild Atlantic Way. We all know how hard it is to buy presents for men! A cosy and durable Aran Sweater will be just what the doctor ordered to combat those chilly winter months in countries such as North America and Canada.

Team Jersey

Whether it’s the latest edition of the county GAA jersey or the Irish soccer kit, every Irish expat will wear the colours of their homeland with pride when celebrating the festive season away from home. #COYBIG

Choosing a Memorable Wedding Gift for a Happy Couple

For many choosing something unique and relevant for a wedding gift for newlyweds can be one of those unforeseen obstacles when prepping for the big day. Rather than stuffing some cash into a card, opting for something slightly more memorable or thoughtful is certainly an avenue to explore.  Before your brain goes into wedding gift overdrive, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to buy them a fondue set!

Chances are you may be familiar with the couple’s interests and hobbies. If so, then maybe a piece of Irish crystal or, perhaps some ornate Belleek gifts which can be used in everyday life, could make the perfect wedding gift.

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Great Gift Ideas Influenced by Fall and Winter Fashion Trends


The changing seasons can may not always be welcomed when the long days of summer and slowly replaced by the chillier, leafier days of autumn but it can often be a great time of the year for sourcing great gift ideas, particularly for the fashionistas in your life. Fall often signals the launch of new fashion ranges and for those who like to look stylish, then the catwalk and fashion magazines can be an unlikely source of inspiration for birthday or Christmas gifts.

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The symbols of Celtic Jewelry and its Christian meaning – Part 2

In our previous post we started to look into the rich history and the meaning of Celtic jewelry evolving from their origins as pagan symbols through to important elements of the Christian faith, and today as popular fashion accessories.

Previously, we looked at the meaning behind the Trinity and Celtic knot, the Celtic spiral and St. Brigid’s Cross when assessing the history and meaning of celtic jewelry. In Part 2, we turn our attention to the Celtic Cross, Tree of Life, Shamrock jewelry and the ever popular Claddagh ring.

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The symbols of Celtic Jewelry and its Christian meaning – Part 1

For those with Irish roots or even with no direct link to Ireland then celtic jewelry has become a popular fashion accessory to compliment any outfit. But what do the various symbols of celtic jewelry actually mean? and how did these symbols evolve?

Celtic jewelry in Ireland has been traced back to the period between 2000 BC and 550 AD when silver and gold were commonly used by craftsmen to create exquisite pieces of jewelry adorned with various Celtic symbols. Each of these symbols were associated with their own specific Christian meaning or often represented certain metaphors.

As a deeply Christian and Catholic country, the many symbols which adorned Ireland’s celtic jewelry often had a variety of deep religious significance used by missionaries as a useful method of catechesis to spread the new Christian doctrine and convert the indigenous pagan inhabitants.

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