Matron Saint: 5 Great Ways To Celebrate The First Long Weekend of The Year in Dublin!

Posted February 1, 2023 in Arts & Culture Features

Spring is finally here and Dublin is gearing up to mark the first long weekend of the year with a brand new public holiday, and a chance to kick back and enjoy a six day festival inspired by Ireland’s matron saint and Celtic goddess Brigid/Brigit.

There’s plenty to do in the city as a six-day festival inspired by the Celtic goddess Brigit celebrates the contributions and achievements of women through the centuries, while also heralding the beginning of spring. The next few days sees Brigit: Dublin City Celebrating Women in full swing as the festival hosts a series of insightful talks, workshops, tours, exhibitions, live performances and more as part of a joyful city-wide celebration.

Keep an eye out for the Herstory Festival of Light, which celebrates female role-models by illuminating iconic landmarks such as the GPO, using images by artists inspired by Brigid in response to their recent open call.

Other events include St Brigid Day fairs at Richmond Barracks and Meeting House Square this coming weekend, and a stitch and bitch with Dublin Sewcial Club at John’s Bar and Haberdashery on Thomas Street. It promises to be an epic few days, and we’ve picked out a few highlights for your consideration below…

Leave the Door Open

Taking the wild plays of the Biddy Boys for inspiration, artist Isadora Epstein hosts Leave the Door Open, an evening of new performances and music at Hugh Lane Gallery, for St. Brigid’s Day.

The event will joyfully welcome spring through paintings, the seasons and folkloric worlds in the company of musicians and artists including Aisling-ór níAodha, Stéphane Béna Hanly, Róisín ní Haicéid, and Meabh McKenna.

6pm, Fri Feb 3rd, Hugh Lane Gallery. Tickets available here.


‘Her Own’ Artist Talk with Dragana Jurišić

Join acclaimed artist Dragana Jurišićat at Photo Museum Ireland this Saturday as she talks about her latest project, ‘Her Own’. Designed by herself and Niall McCormack, the fascinating photo-book documents her efforts to trace the story of her aunt Gordana, a glamorous figure who left rural Yugoslavia in the 1950s and whose subsequent experiences involving false identities and espionage remain mysterious.

12pm, Sat February 4th. Admission Free.


Experience Glasnevin – Women’s Tour

A special tour of Glasnevin Cemetery on Bank Holiday Monday offers participants a terrific opportunity to explore the lives of some of Ireland’s most influential women, each of whom played their part in the social, cultural, and political life of the country.

Visit the graves and discover the incredible stories of women such as Countess Markievicz, Maud Gonne MacBride, Elizabeth O’Farrell, Jennie Wyse-Power, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and other legendary women of Irish history buried in the cemetery, who have played pivotal roles in Irish history and culture.

Check out the short bios of some of the women buried in the cemetery here.

2pm Monday February 6th. Tickets here.


Stories of Home and Valour at Living Canvas

Poetry Project Poppy Hunt stills

Treat yourself to a spectacular display of visual art at Living Canvas as the largest outdoor screen solely dedicated to art in Europe showcases work by an incredible lineup of leading women artists. The six-day long exhibition sees Joy Gerrard, Anita Groener, Myfanwy Frost Jones,  Carol Freeman and extracts from The Poetry Project provide plenty of food for thought, as they challenge traditional definitions of what strength might mean, while also exploring themes of shelter, safety, and support, alongside the equally powerful idea of knowing what is worth defending. Read more about the works and the artists involved here.

Wed Feb 1st – Mon February 6th


Imbolc Brunch

The culinary folk at L Mulligan have put together a beautiful feast celebrating the many facets of the Matron saint  and goddess. They have crafted an incredible Long Table Menu in honour of the occasion, inspired by the Kildare woman’s position as patron of flame, hearth and forge.

With Porter and Apple Treacle soda bread and Smoked Trout from Goatsbridge just two of the delicious offerings from a menu packed with produce supplied by female producers, you know it’s going to be a brunch experience that will live long in the memory.

The event takes place next Sunday, February 5th, with €5 from each ticket sold going to support the work of Women’s Aid. Tickets including welcome drink and gin tasting cost €39.50, are available here.

Feature Image: Brigid by artist Courtney Davis illuminating The GPO in Dublin for the Herstory Light Festival

Check out details of the full programme of events for the festival Brigit: Dublin City Celebrating Women here.


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