Imbolc: Celtic Spring

Imbolc or Imbolg ( also called Saint Brigid’s Day is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint. It is held on 1 February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, its traditions were widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with: Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain.[3]

Other nations celebrate early Spring celebrations in different ways.

Imbolc was known as the time for clearing the fields to prepare them for Spring planting. It was also a time for cleansing and purification. The fertility or fire goddess, Bridgit (before she became the Christian St. Brigid) was celebrated on this day.

Candlemas is traditionally a holiday where Jesus was presented to the temple and Mary was purified 40 days after giving birth to Jesus. The ceremony is referenced in Luke (2:22-4:22)

In the United States, where groundhogs exist, it’s the day where people wait to see if the great weather prognosticator will see his shadow or not.

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