Imbolc (pronounced i-MOLK meaning “in the belly”) observed 2nd February for 2013, is one of eight seasonal festivals marked on the ancient calendar known as The Wheel Of The Year.
Imbolc heralds the first stirrings of Spring as it lies halfway between The Winter Solstice (Yule) and The Spring Equinox (Ostara). It is a time when days lengthen, new buds and shoots appear and the first lambs are born.
Imbolc was originally observed by the Gaelic (Irish, Scottish and Manx) people as a vital indicator of a new agricultural year.
The festival was deemed sacred to the Gaelic goddess Brighid (pronounced breed) the midwife of the year and protector of women, children and newborns.
Hearthfire celebrations involved the baking of bannocks; the origin of Pancake Day.
Corn Dollies and Brighid’s crosses would be made from dried stalks, reeds and rushes to bless the coming season.
Imbolc was a time for weather forecasting. Watching for snakes or badgers to emerge precedes the North American tradition of Groundhog Day.
- Celebrate Yourself on Wives’ Feast Day (goddessinateapot.com)
- Signs of a Mountain Spring (myvillagewitch.wordpress.com)
- Imbolc – by Fran ‘Tiggsy’ Leach (enchantedsolitaire.com)
- Imbolc Prepare to Burst Forth (carolisle.wordpress.com)
- Imbolc Crafts (ditzydruid.com)
- The Coming Day…Brigid and the Spring-Signs (myvillagewitch.wordpress.com)