There are eight main Celtic
Festivals - earth's natural calendar, the cycles of Nature - recognised
by Celts, Pagans and Wiccans as sabbats :
Samhain, Midwinter Solstice or Yule,
Imbolc, Spring/Vernal Equinox, Beltane, Midsummer Solstice, Lammas and
the Autumn Equinox
The changes in the seasons
reflect our lives - changing through birth, maturity, old age and death.
is raditionally regarded as the first day of Spring. Life is
beginning to stir again.
The Celtic festival of Imbolc or Imbolg
- pronounced without the 'b' sound - is sometimes known as Oimelc,
means 'ewe's milk' - named due to the birth of the first lambs
at this time, and celebrates the return of fresh milk.
Sheep are earlier with their offspring than cattle, because
they could crop lower for grass and so thrive on the sparse
vegetation in late winter. Cattle would calf around March.
Bulbs are beginning to shoot and new lambs are born - the cycle
of new life returns to the earth. Imbolc marks the rebirth of
nature and fertility. It is the celebration of the gradual dawning
of increasing light, bringing nature to life again.
is awakening from her winter rest - the
long winter darkness begins to break as the daylight hours begin
to get longer. Christians
celebrate this festival as Candlemas.
focuses on the Goddess, both as Mother - as she gave birth to
the Sun God at the Winter solstice, and as the Maiden.
Brigit was originally considered a form of the Triple Goddess.
Imbolc is a feast dedicated to
the Goddess in her maiden aspect, in her guise as Brigid,
Bridget, Bride, Brighid, Brigit or Brig
- goddess of learning, poetry, prophesying,
craftmanship, agriculture and healing.
Imbolc is considered a traditional healing time and it is a
good time to consider ways to improve your health.
Brigid is the virgin goddess who brings new life to the earth.
She is known as Bride
in Scotland - pronounced Breed - which is the origin of the
word 'bride'. Imbolc is also known as Bride's Day. She
was christianised as St. Bridget of Kildare, the patroness of
sheep and fertility, and she was also known as the 'Mother of
Briget's Cross is woven from corn and consists of four arms
that meet to form a square centre - a fire wheel.
Traditionally, on this day candlelit processions were led to
St. Bridget's holy shrines - wells.
is a 'fire festival'. particular
attention was paid to the hearth fire and
keeping it alight.
A celebratory dish used to be made from the new lambs' docked
Bridie dolls are made out of a sheaf of oats and dressed in women's
clothing, and then ritually buried in the earth as a fertility
rite. Another custom was to place the doll in a 'Bride’s
bed' of woven wheat, like a basket, which was placed near the
front door, or sometimes near the hearth. A white candle was burnt
nearby all night.
Spring cleaning comes from the habit at Imbolc of getting rid
of unwanted clutter and
preparing for the new season, physically and mentally.
is the time to finish old habits and make a fresh start, and realise
the world is full of new opportunities.
crafts and earn money -
How to make and sell crafts for profit at home
Imbolc is a time of optimism and for making new plans for the
sunny days ahead. Plant the seeds of your plans now and tend them
so they mature into your hopes and dreams. Now is the time to
renew your New Year resolutions.