Friday, February 1, 2008
St. Brigid's Cross
February 1st is the first day of spring on the Celtic calendar and St. Brigid's day. The day is celebrated in parts of Ireland by hanging a cross woven of rushes on the door for twelvemonth's luck. This is a simplified version using recycled paper.
PREPARING THE STRIPS
You can use newspaper (I used 1/2 page), catalogs (I used double page spread), or brown paper grocery bag.
1. Cut the paper into four equal sections. I did it by folding the paper in half and cutting it along the fold and then folding each half in half and cutting along the fold to make four pieces.
2. Fold each piece into thirds the long way. Open the paper, cover it with glue (I used a glue stick), and fold it and smooth it out to help the glue adhere.
3. Fold each piece in half.
MAKING THE CROSS
1. STRIP 1-VERTICAL
Place it so that the fold is at the top.
2. STRIP 2-HORIZONTAL
With the fold on the right, place it inside Strip 1.
3. STRIP 3-VERTICAL
With the fold on the bottom, place it inside Strip 2.
4. STRIP 4-HORIZONTAL
With the fold on the left, place it outside Strip 1 and inside Strip 2.
5. Pull on the ends of the strips to tighten the cross.
6. Keep the two layers of each strip together by tying the ends (I used pieces of NY Times delivery plastic bags and twist ties) or with glue. Because the strips will still shift a little if you move the cross around, you may want to add a little glue (white glue on a toothpick or strip of heavy paper) inside the center of the cross.
See an authentic cross made from rushes.
Learn more about St. Brigid's crosses
St. Brigid (Brighid, Bridget) was preceded by the goddess Brigid. You can find more information about the goddess and the saint at The Celtic Well and
Irish Culture and Customs.
I found information about St. Brigid and her crosses in the following books:
All Silver and No Brass by Henry Glassie
The Year in Ireland: A Calendar by Kevin Danaher