Our talented sister, friend, contributor and extremely prolific artist/designer, Erin Darcy offers up a super special craft with us to do with your kids on this day: The Day of Brigid. 
 
Erin, born in the US and found herself in the Land of Fae {Ireland} after meeting her one true love online, is dedicated to honoring the Irish goddess/saint Brigid- who brings blessings to those who light the way in her name. 
 
As a dreamer, artist, wife, baby wearing mama, activist, birth junkie and wise woman, we are so honored to share with you this video created by Erin for Amulet readers.  If you feel called to make this craft today, share with us how it turns out! 
 
You can read more of Erin’s musings and find out about her insanely gorgeous paintings, drawings and design work at www.starvingartistink.com 
 
::: Click here for a beautiful video of how to make the cross :::
 
Brigid’s day 

 
Brighid, daughter of the Dagda, one of the sisters three (all named Brighid) form the Celtic Triple Goddess. 

Our Brigid, the goddess of fire, of the forage and the hearth. Of poetry and healing, childbirth and unity.. She is known by many, and reborn in Christianity as St.Brigit of Kildare.  Her mythology traces way back before the birth of Christianity, to the Tuatha Dé Danann – the peoples tribe of the Goddess Danu.
February 1st marks the Feast of Brigid, Imbolc, the first day of spring. On Brigid’s eve, people leave a sheet (Brigid’s cloak) outside to catch the morning dew – it is said that Brigid walks the earth, blessing the morning water and giving it healing power and protection. 
  

On the eve, gather with friends and harvest rushes, straw, or long grasses. Whatever you have available in your local area. 

Dine on a feast of apple cake, apple pancakes, or a deliciously understated barm brack. Cakes made with apples are traditional on St Brigid’s Day. 

Weave your cross, and gift one to a neighbour or friend – an offering of protection and to bring good luck.  Hang your cross in the eaves of your home, by the door or above the hearth. 

That night, lay a sheet in the grass to collect the dew, and first thing in the morning- collect the water, fold away the sheet – and use to bless the space of a birthing woman, bring to offer healing to the ailing and sick. 

 
To weave the cross :: 
You will need 12-16 rushes (or more for a fuller cross) 
Lay your first straw north and south, let us begin this sun wheel for spring, by placing the second straw behind the first- and fold it over to the east… just as the sun rises,  we turn our wheel east to west, and continue adding the next straw, turn, and add another straw, continually turning our wheel counter-clockwise. 

Once you are satisfied with the fullness of your cross, tie them off – use a straw, string, or tape. 
Cut the ends even 

As the rushes and straw dry, your cross will become more loose, naturally deteriorating. Brigid’s cross should never be simply discarded – rather, it should be light on fire for this Celtic Goddess of Fire.
 
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Barm Brack recipe ::

Tea Brack (Catherine Leydon)
 
225/8oz Self Raising Flour
375g Dried Fruit
300ml/1/2 pint Cold Tea
125g/4oz Caster Sugar
1 Egg (beaten)
Good pinch of Mixed Spice
 
Place fruit and tea in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
The following day, when the fruit has absorbed most of the liquid, preheat the oven to 170′C/325′F/Gas 3 and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
 
To the fruit, add sugar, egg, flour, and mixed spice to the bowl and mix well.
Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for approx. one hour or until risen and firm to the touch (you could inset a skewer to check it has cooked through)
 
Cool on a wire tray; then, when cold, wrap in greaseproof paper and try to wait for two days before cutting, slathering generously with REAL butter and eating many slices with a large pot of tea.

(this cake stays moist for days and days wrapped in greaseproof paper, so a great standby for visitors or gifting. If you can resist that long)


Recipe tried and tested by Emily Rainsford Ryan from www.thenest.com 

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Kerry Apple Cake ::
 

Ingredients:
3 large cooking apples,
peeled, cored and diced
225 g/8 oz/2 US cups
unsifted white flour
90 g/3 oz butter
90 g/3 oz/(scant) ½ US cup
caster sugar
1 teasp baking powder
¼ teasp salt
1 extra-large egg, beaten
¼ teasp nutmeg, grated (or
ground cinnamon or ground
cloves)
3 tbls Demerara sugar

Method:
 
Grease a 20 cm/8 inch cake tin with butter,
then line it with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter
until you have a mixture like fine
breadcrumbs. Mix the salt, sugar, and baking
powder together in a small bowl, then stir
into the flour mixture. Add the chopped
apples and the egg and mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough into the cake tin. Mix the
Demerara sugar and spice and sprinkle over
the top of the cake. Bake at once at
180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for about 45 minutes, or
until a skewer inserted into the middle of the
cake comes out clean. Traditionally this cake
is eaten hot from the oven. It can be served
warm (even cold) as long as it is freshly
made – just warm it gently if it is to be eaten
the following day.


 
Cider cake ::
 

Ingredients:
 
110 g/4 oz butter
110 g/4 oz/generous ½ US
cup caster sugar
1 teasp bicarbonate of soda
225 g/8 oz/2 US cups
unsifted self-raising white
flour
½ teasp freshly grated
nutmeg
2 medium eggs, beaten
200 ml/7 fl oz/generous ¾
US cup medium sweet cider
2 juicy eating apples,
peeled, cored and sliced
into wedges (optional)
1–2 tablesp caster sugar for
the topping

Method:
 
Grease a 23 cm/9 inch square, non-stick
baking tin with butter. Cream the butter and
sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour,
nutmeg and bicarbonate of soda together.
Beat a tablespoon of the flour mix into the
butter and sugar mixture followed by all the
eggs. Mix in half the remaining flour. Add
the cider and beat in fully. Mix in the rest of
the flour. Pour the mixture into the tin. If
using the apples insert the slices into the
mixture (wide side facing upwards) in an
even pattern. Bake immediately at
180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for 35–45 minutes or
until the top is golden, the cake begins to
shrink from the sides of the tin, and the top
feels springy to the touch. Allow to cool
slightly in the tin before turning out
carefully. Place right side up and sprinkle the
top with caster sugar. This cake is also lovely
eaten as a dessert while still warm served
with whipped cream.