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Caillagh ny Groamagh


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St Brigit (c. 450—525) patron saint of Kildare

Imbolc

 

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[Manx, old woman of gloominess, sullen witch].

A Manx weather-spirit and probable variant of the ScG Cailleach Bheur. If 1 February (feast of St Brigid, Bridget, or Bride; pre-Christian Imbolc) is a fine day she comes out to warm herself, but if it is a wet day she stays inside. A fine 1 February, therefore, is a bad omen for the rest of the year. The tradition is clearly related to the American Groundhog Day, 2 February, centred in Pennsylvania. Her ill humour is attributed to her either having fallen into a crevice on Barrule, a mountain (1842 feet) on the Isle of Man, or having been thrown out to sea, after which she drifted back. Another name for her is Caillagh ny Gueshag.

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