#MindforBooks Prompt – February

Imbolc

It is believed that Imbolc was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid, and that it was Christianised as the feast day of Saint Brigid, who is likely (along with lots of other things) a Christianisation of the goddess.

So for this prompt we are going to use all the things Brigid and St. Brigid encompass. This is A LOT OF THINGS!

First up Brigid and Imbolc so anything Spring related.

St. Brigid is the patron saint of County Kildare, babies; blacksmiths; boatmen; brewers; cattle; chicken farmers; children whose parents are not married; children with abusive fathers; children born into abusive unions; Clan Douglas; dairymaids; dairy workers; Florida; fugitives; infants; Ireland; Leinster, Mac Brádaigh family, mariners; midwives; milk maids; nuns; poets; poor; poultry farmers; poultry raisers; printing presses; sailors; scholars; travellers; watermen.

So if you’ve read a book about a chicken farmer in Florida you are off to the races! 😀

Fun fact, St. Brigid’s Day is on the way to becoming a new bank holiday here in Ireland. It’s particularly popular because Biddy was a bad bitch, she is the only female Saint we have and pagan ties make me happy.

Women of Note

3 February 1995 Eileen Collins becomes the first woman to pilot and command the Space Shuttle. Collins, born in 1956, is a US Air Force colonel, former military instructor and test pilot. She decided to be an astronaut when she was about nine but didn’t tell anyone in case they said she couldn’t do it. She joined the USAF as one of the first four women out of 450 pilots to be allowed to train. Colonel Collins has logged 38 days 8 hours and 20 minutes in outer space.

Toksvig’s Almanac

9 February 1979 Zhang Ziyi born. Chinese actress internationally famous for her performance in the martial arts drama Wò hǔ cáng lóng (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and Memoirs of a Geisha. For her performance in The Grandmaster she won twelve different Best Actress awards, making her the most awarded Chinese actress for a single film.

Toksvig’s Almanac

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of my favourite movies so Zhang Ziyi had to be included! 😀

12 February 1915 Dr Olivia Hooker born. Sailor, psychologist and Fordham University professor. First African American woman to enter the US Coast Guard, in February 1945. She helped found the American Psychological Association’s Division 33, dealing with people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. One of the last known survivors of the infamous 1921 Tulsa race massacre carried out by the Ku Klux Klan in Oklahoma, which left hundreds dead and thousands homeless. She was one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed against the state of Oklahoma and the city of Tulsa in 2003 seeking compensation due to the local government’s involvement in the massacre. The US Supreme Court dismissed the case without comment.

Toksvig’s Almanac

16 February 1997 Chien-Shiung Wu dies, Chinese-born American physicist, born 1912. She made significant contributions to nuclear physics, and worked on the Manhattan Project. Her male colleagues Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen-Ning Yang had a theory about parity but couldn’t prove it. Wu proved it. I admit I don’t understand it, but proving the theory was a fundamental discovery about how the world works. The men got the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957 and she was left out. Surprise.

Toksvig’s Almanac

18 February 1934 Audre Lorde born. American poet, essayist, passionate writer on lesbian feminism and racial issues. She was an early writer on the intersections of race, class and gender. She and fellow writer Barbara Smith founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1981 to further the writings of black feminists.

Toksvig’s Almanac

19 February 1953 Cristina Fernández de Kirchner born. Argentine lawyer and politician who was the first female elected president of Argentina between 2007 and 2015. In July 2010 she signed legislation that made Argentina the first country in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage.

Toksvig’s Almanac

22 February 1680 Catherine Montvoisin dies. French fortune-teller, sorceress and poisoner, born around 1640. Also known as La Voisin. Who doesn’t want to read about her? Head of a network of fortune-tellers said to have murdered up to 2,500 people. Charged with witchcraft in the ‘Affair of the Poisons’. Executed by burning.

Toksvig’s Almanac

25 February 1971 Nova Maree Peris OAM born. Indigenous Australian athlete and former politician. First Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal. One of very few athletes to represent their country in two different sports at separate Olympics (hockey and track and field). In 2012, she became the first indigenous Australian elected to parliament.

Toksvig’s Almanac

3 thoughts on “#MindforBooks Prompt – February

  1. Pingback: Blessed Imbolc! 

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