Never mind all the snow… Friday’s first day of spring

THIS Friday 1 February, otherwise known as St Brigid’s Day, traditionally marks the beginning of spring for many. 
Pupils at primary schools across the county have been keeping an age-old custom alive by making crosses in honour of Saint Brigid. The crosses traditionally made from rushes are now sometimes made from straws or paper. 
The crosses, with a square in the middle and four arms coming across from each side are relatively simple to make. 
They are traditionally made on St Brigid’s Eve, 31 January.  Across the county services will also take place to mark the day. 
St Brigid is one of Ireland’s three patron saints, alongside St Columba and St Patrick. St Brigid’s Day celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and on the eve of her feast St Brigid was said to have travelled around the country blessing people and their farm animals, wishing them success for the harvest later in the year. 
On the other hand, Met Eireann and meteorologists tend to focus on 1 March as the start of spring. After a mild winter grass growth is notably ahead for this time of year. Daffodils are sprouting up and snowdrops are in flower despite wet weather conditions of the past few days. 
Animals are also preparing to return from their winter hibernation, with bats and hedgehogs soon to reappear to begin building their strength up to face the spring and summer again for another year.

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The PSNI have issued advice on how to protect yourself against crime as the long evenings begin.


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