Imbolc

imbolc pagan sabbat

February 2nd

This is the first Sabbat to celebrate the coming of spring, though there would still be snow on the ground for most people at this time.

Ewes would start making milk around now, which would be a huge blessing after a long winter with no fresh food. It's also a time for new lambs and other livestock. Though plants are still dormant, new life is just finally stirring after winter.

In particular, it was a day sacred to the Celtic Goddess Brigid. There were many traditions for this holiday attributed specifically to her. Offerings were left out, and dolls were made in her image. Cloth left outside on Imbolc night would be blessed by Brigid, and would then be used in healing later in the year. In the mythical Wheel of the Year, the Goddess is in her Maiden form and just beginning the annual cycle of life and death.

Predicting the weather to anticipate spring was a common activity, and is still seen today in the popular non-Pagan version of the holiday: Groundhog Day.

Other names: Candlemas, Brigid's Day, Oimelc, Groundhog Day

Traditions and activities: making a bed or woven cross for Brigid, spring cleaning, lighting a bonfire, weather predictions, lighting candles

Correspondences: carnations, rosemary, chamomile, white, yellow, heather, basil

Foods served: custard, yogurt, lamb stew, potato soup, cabbage, butter, pumpkin seeds

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