The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not survive the conversion to Christianity. However, much of it was preserved in medieval Irish literature, though it was shorn of its religious meanings; this literature represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. Although many of the manuscripts have not survived and much more material was never committed to writing, there is enough remaining to enable the identification of distinct, if overlapping, cycles: the Mythological Cycle, the Ulster Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the Historical Cycle. There are a number of extant mythological texts that do not fit into any of the cycles. Additionally, there are a large number of recorded folk tales that, while not mythological, feature personages from one or more of these four cycles. Today some of the best known tales are of Tír na nÓg, Fionn MacCumhaill, Na Fianna, The Aos Sí / Aes Sídhe, Sétanta, The Tuatha Dé Danann, the Children of Lir, Táin Bó Cúailnge & the Salmon of Knowledge.
Depending on the sources, the importance of gods and goddesses in Irish mythology varies. The geographical tales, emphasize the importance of female divinities while the historical tradition focuses on the colonizers, inventors, or male warriors with the female characters only intervening in episodes. Goddesses are linked to a place and they seem to draw their power from that place, they are maternal deities caring for the earth itself as well as children. They are connected to poetry, smith craft, healing. Many appear to be prophetic when foretelling death as well as transformational. Zoomorphism is an important feature for many Irish deities. Badb Catha, the Raven of Battle, introduces zoomorphism to celtic deities of both sexes. Male deities are less zoomorphic than the female deities in the Irish tradition, but there are still some instances of shapeshifting among gods. There is a presence in Irish Mythology of the Triad referred to as the "power of three," which expresses the extreme potency of a deity rather than dividing the power.
It is an attribute more pronounced among female deities. Dagda is called by two other names, Lug has two brothers, there is the Three Gods of Skill There is a lack of a goddess of love equivalent to Aphrodite or Venus due to the predominance of the maternal element in the culture of the Celts. There are multiple categories of goddesses in Irish Mythology: the Mother Goddess, Seasonal Goddess, Warrior Goddess are a few; some of these goddesses are considered to be all one goddess while other stories treat them as separate. Among the mother goddesses is Anu the goddess of Danu. Additionally, Brigit is a mother goddess, sometimes considered one goddess and sometimes considered the three sisters Brigit, she is the mother goddess that watches over childbirth. She brings abundance. Brigit can be categorized as a seasonal goddess and one can win her favor by burying a fowl alive at the meeting of three waters as a form of sacrifice, she survives as Saint Brigit in the Christian faith and some modern folklore makes her midwife to the Blessed Virgin.
The function of these goddesses involves the entire cycle of life from birth through adolescence and the fertility. They are protecting forces that provide the necessities of life within the home and are envisioned as being the earth itself, their importance have led some scholars to propose a matrilineal social organization and others highlight this argument as being feminist propaganda and deny all indications of importance. These goddesses are the patronesses of feasts, they appear during great feasts of Ireland and they bring abundance. The main goddesses are the Machas: Carman, Tea, but there are other seasonal goddesses. Warrior Goddesses are linked with warrior women because there is historical evidence of women leading their tribes into battle. Oftentimes, warrior goddesses are depicted in a trio; this trio can change to include different goddesses. They reign over the battlefield without having to physically be involved, they do not need to strike a blow because they control the events while the male deities are depicted as being in the battles.
This aspect leads to the discussion of women as the gods of slaughter. Scholars note that the female deities govern the natural event while the male deities govern the social event; the main goddesses of war are Morrigan and Bodb. The Irish Gods are divided into four main groups. Group one encompasses the older gods of Britain; the second group is the main focus of much of the mythology and surrounds the native Irish gods with their homes in burial mounds. The third group are the gods that dwell in the sea and the fourth group includes stories of the Otherworld; the gods that appear most are Dagda and Lug. Some scholars have argued that the stories of these gods align with the Greek gods. Druids were held in high esteem by the community as religious leaders, their functions and origins are debated which some attribute to the fact that there was no written tradition. This lack of documentary evidence is said to be because the practices become common property and this makes the student relax their diligence.
They are figures in Irish Mythology and study astronomy. Heroes in Irish mythology can be found in two distinct groups. There is the hero outside of the tribe; the first group encompasses all, subject to man and his works must belong to the tribe and live under its laws. Within the tribe, heroes are of the race of humans and gods
Tuatha Dé Danann
The Tuath Dé Danann known by the earlier name Tuath Dé, are a supernatural race in Irish mythology. They are thought to represent the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland; the Tuatha Dé Danann constitute a pantheon whose attributes appeared in a number of forms throughout the Celtic world. The Tuath Dé interact with humans and the human world, they are associated with ancient passage tombs, such as Brú na Bóinne, which were seen as portals to the Otherworld. Their traditional rivals are the Fomorians, who seem to represent the harmful or destructive powers of nature, who the Tuath Dé defeat in the Battle of Mag Tuired; each member of the Tuath Dé has associations with a particular feature of life or nature, but many appear to have more than one association. Many have bynames, some representing different aspects of the deity and others being regional names or epithets. Much of Irish mythology was recorded by Christian monks, they depicted the Tuath Dé as kings and heroes of the distant past who had supernatural powers.
Other times they were explained as fallen angels who were neither evil. However, some medieval writers acknowledged, they appear in tales set centuries apart, showing them to be immortal. Prominent members of the Tuath Dé include The Dagda, they have parallels in the pantheons of other Celtic peoples: for example Lugh is cognate with the pan-Celtic god Lugus, Nuada with the British god Nodens, Brigid with Brigantia. The Tuath Dé became the Aos Sí or "fairies" of folklore; the Old Irish word tuath means "people, nation". In the earliest writings, the mythical race are referred to as the Tuath Dé. However, Irish monks began using the term Tuath Dé to refer to the Israelites, with the meaning "People of God". To avoid confusion with the Israelites, writers began to refer to the mythical race as the Tuath Dé Danann; the Old Irish pronunciation is and the Modern Irish pronunciation is in the West and North, in the South. Danann is believed to be the genitive of a female name, for which the nominative case is not attested.
It has been reconstructed as Danu. Anu is called "mother of the Irish gods" by Cormac mac Cuilennáin; this may be linked to the Welsh mythical figure Dôn. Hindu mythology has a goddess called Danu, who may be an Indo-European parallel. However, this reconstruction is not universally accepted, it has been suggested that Danann is a conflation of dán and the goddess name Anann. The name is found as Donann and Domnann, which may point to the origin being proto-Celtic *don, meaning "earth". There may be a link with the British Dumnonii; the Tuatha Dé Danann were descended from leader of a previous wave of inhabitants of Ireland. They came from four cities to the north of Ireland—Falias, Gorias and Finias—where they taught their skills in the sciences, including architecture, the arts, magic, including necromancy. According to Lebor Gabála Érenn, they came to Ireland "in dark clouds" and "landed on the mountains of Conmaicne Rein in Connachta", otherwise Sliabh an Iarainn, "and they brought a darkness over the sun for three days and three nights".
They burnt the ships "so that they should not think of retreating to them. Therefore it was conceived that they had arrived in clouds of mist". A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of their arrival: It is God who suffered them, though He restrained themthey landed with horror, with lofty deed, in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres, upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht. Without distinction to descerning Ireland, Without ships, a ruthless course the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars, whether they were of heaven or of earth. Led by their king, they fought the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh on the west coast, in which they defeated and displaced the native Fir Bolg, who inhabited Ireland. In the battle, Nuada lost an arm to Sreng. Since Nuada was no longer "unblemished", he could not continue as king and was replaced by the half-Fomorian Bres, who turned out to be a tyrant; the physician Dian Cecht replaced Nuada's arm with a working silver one and he was reinstated as king. However, Dian Cecht's son Miach was dissatisfied with the replacement so he recited the spell, "ault fri halt dí & féith fri féth", which caused flesh to grow over the silver prosthesis over the course of nine days and nights.
However, in a fit of jealous rage Dian Cecht slew his own son. Because of Nuada's restoration as leader, Bres complained to his family and his father, who sent him to seek assistance from Balor, king of the Fomorians; the Tuatha Dé Danann fought the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh against the Fomorians. Nuada was killed by the Fomorian king Balor's poisonous eye, but Balor was
In Celtic mythology, the Otherworld is the realm of the deities and also of the dead. In Gaelic and Brittonic mythology it is described as a supernatural realm of everlasting youth, health and joy; the Otherworld is elusive, but various mythical heroes visit it either through chance or after being invited by one of its residents. They reach it by entering ancient burial mounds or caves, or by going under water or across the western sea. Sometimes, the Otherworld is said to exist alongside our own located beyond the edge of the earth and intrudes into our world. An otherworldly woman may invite the hero into the Otherworld by offering an apple or a silver apple branch, or a ball of thread to follow as it unwinds; the Otherworld is called Annwn in Welsh mythology and Avalon in Arthurian legend. In Irish mythology it has several names, including Mag Mell and Emain Ablach. In Irish myth there is Tech Duinn, where the souls of the dead gather. In Irish mythology, the Otherworld has various names. Names of the Otherworld, or places within it, include Tír nAill, Tír Tairngire, Tír na nÓg, Tír fo Thuinn, Tír na mBeo, Mag Mell, Mag Findargat, Mag Argatnél, Mag Ildathach, Mag Cíuin, Emain Ablach.
It is described as a supernatural realm where there is everlasting youth, health and joy, where time moves differently. It is the dwelling place of the gods as well as certain ancestors, it was similar to the Elysium of Greek mythology and both may have a shared origin in ancient Proto-Indo-European religion. The Otherworld is elusive, but various mythical heroes—such as Cúchulainn and Bran—visit it either through chance or after being invited by one of its residents. In Irish myth and folklore, the festivals of Samhain and Beltane are liminal times, when contact with the Otherworld was more likely. In the tales, the Otherworld is reached by entering ancient burial mounds, such as those at Brú na Bóinne and Cnoc Meadha; these were known as sídhe and were the dwellings of the gods called the aos sí or daoine sí. Irish mythology says. In some tales, the Otherworld is reached by going under the waters of pools, lakes, or the sea, or else by crossing the western sea. In Irish Immrama tales, a beautiful young Otherworld woman approaches the hero and sings to him of this happy land.
Sometimes she offers him the promise of her love in exchange for his help in battle. He follows her, they journey over the sea together and are seen no more, their journey may be in a chariot, or on horseback. Sometimes the hero returns after what he believes is a short time, only to find that all his companions are dead and he has been away for hundreds of years. Sometimes the hero sets out on a quest, a magic mist descends upon him, he may find himself before an unusual palace and enter to find a warrior or a beautiful woman who makes him welcome. The woman may be the goddess Fand, the warrior may be Manannán mac Lir or Lugh, after strange adventures the hero may return successfully; however when the mortal manages to return to his own time and place, he is forever changed by his contact with the Otherworld. The Otherworld was seen as a source of authority. In the tale Baile in Scáil, Conn of the Hundred Battles visits an Otherworld hall, where the god Lugh legitimizes his kingship and that of his successors.
In Irish myth there is another otherworldly realm called Tech Duinn. It was believed. Donn is portrayed as a god of the ancestor of the Gaels. Tech Duinn is identified with Bull Rock, an islet off the west coast of Ireland which resembles a portal tomb. In Ireland there was a belief that the souls of the dead departed westwards over the sea with the setting sun. West-ward being the location of the phantom island, anglicized as, Hy-Brasil. In Welsh mythology, the Otherworld is called Annwn or Annwfn; the Welsh tale of Branwen, daughter of Llyr ends with the survivors of the great battle feasting in the Otherworld, in the presence of the severed head of Bran the Blessed, having forgotten all their suffering and sorrow, having become unaware of the passage of time. Annwn is ruled by Gwyn ap Nudd. In the First Branch of the Welsh tales known as The Mabinogion, entitled Pwyll, Prince of Dyfed, the eponymous prince offends Arawn, ruler of Annwn, by baiting his hunting hounds on a stag that Arawn's dogs had brought down.
In recompense, Pwyll swaps defeats Arawn's enemy Hafgan. Meanwhile, Arawn rules Dyfed. During this year, Pwyll does not sleep with Arawn's wife. On his return, Pwyll becomes known by the title Pen Annwn, "Head of Annwn"; the Gauls divided the universe into three parts: Albios, Bitu ("world of the living be
The Morrígan or Mórrígan known as Morrígu, is a figure from Irish mythology. The name is Mór-Ríoghain in Modern Irish, it has been translated as "great queen", "phantom queen" or "queen of phantoms". The Morrígan is associated with war and fate with foretelling doom, death or victory in battle. In this role she appears as a crow, the badb, she can help bring about victory over their enemies. The Morrígan encourages warriors to do brave deeds, strikes fear into their enemies, is portrayed washing the bloodstained clothes of those fated to die, she has some connection with sovereignty, the land and livestock. In modern times she is called a "war goddess" and has been seen as a manifestation of the earth- and sovereignty-goddess, chiefly representing the goddess's role as guardian of the territory and its people; the Morrígan is described as a trio of individuals, all sisters, called'the three Morrígna'. Membership of the triad varies, it is believed. The three Morrígna are named as sisters of the three land goddesses Ériu, Banba and Fódla.
The Morrígan is said to be the wife of The Dagda, while Badb and Nemain are said to be the wives of Neit. She is associated with the banshee of folklore. There is some disagreement over the meaning of the Morrígan's name. Mor may derive from an Indo-European root connoting terror or monstrousness, cognate with the Old English maere and the Scandinavian mara and the Old East Slavic "mara"; this can be reconstructed in the Proto-Celtic language. Accordingly, Morrígan is translated as "Phantom Queen"; this is the derivation favoured in current scholarship. In the Middle Irish period the name is spelled Mórrígan with a lengthening diacritic over the o intended to mean "Great Queen". Whitley Stokes believed. There have been attempts by modern writers to link the Morrígan with the Welsh literary figure Morgan le Fay from the Matter of Britain, in whose name mor may derive from Welsh word for "sea", but the names are derived from different cultures and branches of the Celtic linguistic tree; the earliest sources for the Morrígan are glosses in Latin manuscripts, glossaries.
In a 9th century manuscript containing the Vulgate version of the Book of Isaiah, the word Lamia is used to translate the Hebrew Lilith. A gloss explains this as "a monster in female form, that is, a morrígan". Cormac's Glossary, a gloss in the manuscript H.3.18, both explain the plural word gudemain with the plural form morrígna. The 8th century O'Mulconry's Glossary says; the Morrígan's earliest narrative appearances, in which she is depicted as an individual, are in stories of the Ulster Cycle, where she has an ambiguous relationship with the hero Cú Chulainn. In Táin Bó Regamna, Cúchulainn encounters the Morrígan, but does not recognise her, as she drives a heifer from his territory. In response to this perceived challenge, his ignorance of her role as a sovereignty figure, he insults her, but before he can attack her she becomes a black bird on a nearby branch. Cúchulainn now knows who she is, tells her that had he known before, they would not have parted in enmity, she notes. To his response that she cannot harm him, she delivers a series of warnings, foretelling a coming battle in which he will be killed.
She tells him, "it is at the guarding of thy death. Cúchulainn defends Ulster by fighting a series of single combats at fords against Medb's champions. In between combats the Morrígan appears to him as a young woman and offers him her love, her aid in the battle, but he rejects her offer. In response she intervenes in his next combat, first in the form of an eel who trips him as a wolf who stampedes cattle across the ford, as a white, red-eared heifer leading the stampede, just as she had warned in their previous encounter; however Cúchulainn defeats his opponent despite her interference. She appears to him as an old woman bearing the same three wounds that her animal forms sustained, milking a cow, she gives Cúchulainn three drinks of milk. He blesses her with each drink, her wounds are healed, he regrets blessing her for the three drinks of milk, apparent in the exchange between the Morrígan and Cúchulainn, "She gave him milk from the third teat, her leg was healed.'You told me once,' she said,'that you would never heal me."Had I known it was you,' said Cúchulainn,'I never would have.'"
As the armies gather for the final battle, she prophesies the bloodshed to come. In one version of Cúchulainn's death-tale, as Cúchulainn rides to meet his enemies, he encounters the Morrígan as a hag washing his bloody armour in a ford, an omen of his death. In the story, mortally wounded, Cúchulainn ties himself to a standing stone with his own entrails so he can die upright, it is only when a crow lands on his shoulder that his enemies believe he is d
The Dagda is an important god in Irish mythology. One of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Dagda is portrayed as a father-figure and druid, he is associated with fertility, agriculture and strength, as well as magic and wisdom. He is said to have control over life and death, the weather and crops, as well as time and the seasons, he is described as a large bearded man or giant wearing a hooded cloak. He owns a magic staff or club which can kill with one end and bring to life with the other, a cauldron which never runs empty, a magic harp which can control men's emotions and change the seasons, he is said to dwell in Brú na Bóinne. Other places associated with or named after him include Uisneach, Grianan of Aileach, Assaroe Falls and Lough Neagh; the Dagda is said to be husband of the Boann. His children include Aengus, Bodb Derg, Cermait and Midir, he is said to have two brothers and Ogma, but this may be an instance of the tendency to triplicate deities. The name Dagda is believed to come from Proto-Celtic: *Dagodeiwos, "the good god" or "the great god".
He has several other epithets which reflect aspects of his character. These include Eochu or Eochaid Ollathair, Ruad Rofhessa, Dáire, Fer Benn, Cerrce and Eogabal, it is argued that the death and ancestral god Donn was a form of the Dagda, he has similarities with the harvest figure Crom Dubh. Several tribal groupings saw the Dagda as an ancestor and were named after him, such as the Uí Echach and the Dáirine; the Dagda has been likened to the Germanic god Odin, the Gaulish god Sucellos, the Roman god Dīs Pater. Tales depict the Dagda as a figure of immense power, he is said to own a magic club or mace which could kill nine men with one blow. It was called the lorg anfaid, his magic cauldron was known as the coire ansic and was said to be bottomless, from which no man left unsatisfied. It was said to have a ladle so big. Uaithne known as "the Four Angled Music", was a richly ornamented magic harp made of oak which, when the Dagda played it, put the seasons in their correct order, he possessed two pigs, one of, always growing whilst the other was always roasting, ever-laden fruit trees.
The Dagda was one of the kings of the Tuatha De Danann. The Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians, who inhabited Ireland prior to the coming of the Milesians; the Mórrígan is described as his wife, his daughter was Brígh, his lover was Boann, after whom the River Boyne is named, though she was married to Elcmar. Prior to the battle with the Fomorians, he coupled with the goddess of war, the Mórrígan, on Samhain in exchange for a plan of battle. Despite his great power and prestige, the Dagda is sometimes depicted as oafish and crude comical, wearing a short, rough tunic that covers his rump, dragging his great penis on the ground; such features are thought to be the additions of Christian redactors for comedic purposes. The Middle Irish language Coir Anmann paints a less clownish picture: "He was a beautiful god of the heathens, for the Tuatha Dé Danann worshipped him: for he was an earth-god to them because of the greatness of his power." The name Dagda may be derived from the Proto-Indo-European *Dhagho-deiwos "shining divinity", the first element being cognate with the English word "day", a byword for a deification of a notion such as "splendour".
This etymology would tie in well with Dagda's mythic association with the sun and the earth, with kingship and excellence in general. *Dhago-deiwos would have been inherited into Proto-Celtic as *Dago-deiwos, thereby punning with the Proto-Celtic word *dago-s "good". Under the name Aed of Ess Ruaid, the Dagda is named as the son of Badurn, the Lord of Emain, the Grandson of Argatmar; the rapids in which he drowned were named Ess Ruaid and were called Ess Duind after Dond, the grandson of Bile. The Dagda had an affair with wife of Elcmar. In order to hide their affair, Dagda made. He, along with Bóand, helped Aengus search for his love. Whilst Aengus was away the Dagda shared out his land among his children, but Aengus returned to discover that nothing had been saved for him. Aengus tricked his father out of his home at the Brú na Bóinne. Aengus asked his father if he could live in the Brú for láa ogus oidhche " day and night", which in Irish is ambiguous, could refer to either "a day and a night", or "day and night", which means for all time, so Aengus took possession of the Brú permanently.
In The Wooing of Étaín, on the other hand, Aengus uses the same ploy to trick Elcmar out of Brú na Bóinne, with the Dagda's connivance. The Dagda was the father of Bodb Dearg, Midir, Áine, Brigit, he was the brother or father of Oghma, related to the Gaulish god Ogmios. Another Gaulish god who may be related to the Dagda is Sucellus, the striker, depicted with a hammer and cup, he is credited with a sevent
In Irish mythology, Lén was the craftsman of Síd Buidb, the'sídhe of Bodb'. The son of Ban Bolgach son of Bannach, he was said to reside under a lake near Killarney named Loch Léin after him; the Dindsenchas relate that Loch Léin was where he would make bright vessels for Fand the Long-Haired, the daughter of Flidais. Every night, after finishing his work, it is written that he used to fling his anvil away to a nearby hill called the Indeoin na nDési or'Anvil of the Dési' and the showers that came from the back of the hill were said to be pearls off his anvil as it was flung. Whether the name Lén can be philologically related to the Romano-Celtic god Lenus is disputable. While the meaning of the name is uncertain, the Old Irish words lén'defeat, misfortune' and lénaid'injure, wound' and the Welsh llwyn'grove, shrub' may offer some basis for comparison
Brigit, Brigid or Bríg was a goddess of pre-Christian Ireland. She appears in Irish mythology as a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the daughter of the Dagda and wife of Bres, with whom she had a son named Ruadán, it has been suggested. She is associated with the spring season, healing and smithcraft. Cormac's Glossary, written in the 10th century by Christian monks, says that Brigid was "the goddess whom poets adored" and that she had two sisters: Brigid the healer and Brigid the smith; this suggests. Saint Brigid shares many of the goddess's attributes and her feast day on 1 February was a pagan festival marking the beginning of spring, it has thus been argued. She is identified in Lebor Gabála Érenn as a daughter of a poet; the same passage mentions that she has two oxen, Fe and Men, that graze on a plain named after them, Femen. She possessed the king of boars, Torc Triath, Cirb, king of wethers, from whom Mag Cirb is named; the animals were said to cry out a warning and thus Brigid is considered the guardian of domesticated animals.
As the daughter of Dagda, she is the half sister of Cermait, Aengus and Bodb Derg. In Cath Maige Tuireadh, Bríg invents keening, a combination of weeping and singing, while mourning for her son Ruadán, after he is slain while fighting for the Fomorians, she is credited in the same passage with inventing a whistle used for night travel. Brigid is considered the patroness of poetry, medicine and crafts, cattle and other livestock, sacred wells and the arrival of early spring. In the Christian era, nineteen nuns at Kildare tended a perpetual flame for the Saint, believed to be a continuation of a pre-Christian practice of women tending a flame in her honour, her festival day, Imbolc is traditionally a time for weather prognostication: In her English retellings of Irish myth, Lady Augusta Gregory describes Brigit as "a woman of poetry, poets worshipped her, for her sway was great and noble. And she was a woman of healing along with that, a woman of smith's work, it was she first made the whistle for calling one to another through the night."A possible British and continental counterpart Brigantia seems to have been the Celtic equivalent of the Roman Minerva and the Greek Athena goddesses with similar functions and embodying the same concept of elevated state, whether physical or psychological.
She is the goddess of all things perceived to be of high dimensions such as high-rising flames, hill-forts and upland areas. In the living traditions, whether seen as goddess or saint, she is associated with the home and hearth and is a favorite of both Polytheists and Catholics. A number of these associations are attested in Cormac's Glossary. In the Middle Ages, the goddess Brigid was syncretized with the Christian saint of the same name. According to medievalist Pamela Berger, Christian "monks took the ancient figure of the mother goddess and grafted her name and functions onto her Christian counterpart," St. Brigid of Kildare. St. Brigid is associated with perpetual, sacred flames, such as the one maintained by 19 nuns at her sanctuary in Kildare, Ireland; the sacred flame at Kildare was said by Giraldus Cambrensis and other chroniclers to have been surrounded by a hedge, which no man could cross. Men who attempted to cross the hedge were said to have been cursed to die or be crippled; the tradition of female priestesses tending sacred occurring eternal flames is a feature of ancient Indo-European pre-Christian spirituality.
Other examples include the Roman goddess Vesta, other hearth-goddesses, such as Hestia. Both the goddess and saint are associated with holy wells, at Kildare and many other sites in the Celtic lands. Well dressing, the tying of clooties to the trees next to healing wells, other methods of petitioning or honoring Brigid still take place in some of the Celtic lands and the diaspora. Saint Brigid's feast day is on 1 February celebrated as St Brigid's Day in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and by the Anglican Communion; the Gaelic festival coincides with Imbolc, a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid. Brigid is an important figure for modern pagans, she is sometimes worshipped in conjunction with Cernunnos. Old Irish Brigit came to be spelled Brighid by the modern Irish period. Since the spelling reform of 1948, this has been spelled Bríd; the earlier form gave rise to various forms in the languages of Europe, starting from the Medieval Latin Brigit /ˈbriʒit/, suggested by the written form, from there to various modern forms, such as English Bridget and Bridgit, French Brigitte, Swedish Birgitta, Italian Brigida and Finnish Piritta.
The name is derived from Proto-Celtic *Brigantī and means "The High One", cognate with the name of the ancient British goddess Brigantia, the Old High German personal name Burgunt, the Sanskrit word Bṛhatī "high", an epithet of the Hindu dawn goddess Ushas. The ultimate source is Proto-Indo-European *bʰr̥ǵʰéntih₂, derived from the root *bʰerǵʰ-. Brìghde/Brìde Ffraid (also Braint, alt. Breint, the name of a river in Anglese