Celebrating the Spring Equinox - Monday March 20th 2017
The equinoxes and solstices are astrological occasions that fall midway between the traditional Irish seasonal festivals which are represented in the Celtic gardens at Brigit’s Garden. The spring equinox, celebrated on the day that the Sun moves into the sign of Aries on 20th March 2017, finds us halfway through the season of Imbolc. The promise of Beltaine and summertime grows ever stronger as trees begin to bud, the wild hedgerow herbs begin to flourish and the birds sing noisily as they build their nests.
The equinoxes and solstices were especially relevant for the pre-Celtic and Neolithic people. Ancient stone sacred sites like cairns, dolmens and stone circles were created during this era and were built in alignment with a solstice or equinox.
From Winter Solstice, we have prevailed through the depths of the dark winter when the light is re-born and grows until the tipping point of the Spring Equinox, so named because of the balanced or equal aspects of light and dark, day and night. From here the light continues to strengthen until it is at its brightest and longest on Summer Solstice.
In addition to the longer days, we notice the shifting of the season as we walk about the Garden.
The Ogham tree of the Spring Equinox is willow, a tree full of energy in the spring and one you can almost watch grow. We have tunnels for children to play in created by willow, we love our huge goat willow tree holding space with Seated Woman on the Sun Trail, and are re-weaving the Samhain structure with willow. The willow represents the letter S in the Ogham alphabet and the Irish is Saileach. Bees love the pollen provided by the blossoms so try not to trim it until after flowering (plus pussy willow blossoms are so adorable!). It is said to be lucky to carry willow on a journey. The bark of the willow contains salicylic acid, an essential ingredient in aspirin. A tea or tincture can be taken as a natural alternative for aches, pains and inflammation.
By Tonja Reichley
Accommodation Close by
(for Friday and/or Saturday night)
In Roscahill Co. Galway- 5 mins drive from Brigit's Garden
Rockfield House B&B, www.connemara-galway.net 091 555586
In Oughterard, Co. Galway: 10 mins drive from Brigit's Garden
Camillaun Lodge, www.camillaun.com 091 552678
The Boat Inn, www.theboatinn.ie 091 552196 (family rooms from €78)
Ross Lake House Hotel, www.rosslakehotel.com, 091 550109
The Connemara Lake Hotel, www.theconnemaralakehotel.com 091 866016
Oughterard Hostel, www.oughterardhostel.com 091 552388
There is plenty of other accommodation listed at www.discoverireland.ie Follow links for accommodation and search for Moycullen or Oughterard.
Please spread the word, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!! Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!
Slán go fóill :)*
Driving along the N59 from Galway city you will pass through a small town called Moycullen. Follow the festival traffic signs.
A few kilometres after this you will reach the small village of Roscahill. You will then see a brown heritage signpost on the left hand side of the road with Brigit's Garden name on it pointing to Turn Right. Take this right and the entrance to Brigit's Garden is on the left approximately 2km from this turn (after the community centre and church on the left hand-side).
For those using GPS or Google Maps, they may direct you turn right at Connemara Motors but it is more efficient if you continue onwards with the festival traffic signs.
GPS Coordinates for Brigit's Garden:N: 53.38558 W: 9.2131
Please pay attention to the signs for the overnight carpark and day carpark during this event.