The Holidays Celebrated In Colonial America

St. Bridget's Day

{ The 23rd of July }

  The Feast Day of St. Bridget is celebrated on the 23rd of July, the day of her death in 1373.

  Birgitta Birgersdotter was born in 1303 in Sweden. As a child she had religious visions. After her marriage in 1316, at the age of thirteen, to Ulf Gudmarsson, Bridget's visions became more numerous. Bridget and Ulf bore eight children, four boys and four girls, all of whom survived to adulthood, and one of which became a saint: Saint Catherine of Sweden.

  The couple went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from 1341 to 1343, and upon their return to Sweden, Ulf died. Bridget devoted herself to the Church after Ulf's death. She founded the Order of the Holy Saviour, known as the Brigittines. The new Order was confirmed in 1370 by Pope Urban V.

  Bridget was canonized in the year 1391 by Pope boniface IX.

  On the Eve of St. Bridget's Day, a certain farmer's wife in the village would bake a cake, called the Bairinbreac, and all the other villagers would be invited to partake of it. Ale would be served with the cake, and the evening would be spent in a festive way.