Now we see the first signs of life returning to the land, the first buds on the trees, the first flowers peeking through the frozen earth. Some places the first lambs have been born, so we know that spring is underway.
Nature is shown in this celebration as the bride, who waits on her groom to unite with him and give birth to life in the spring.
In Ireland this celebration is also known as the feast of the Fire Goddess Bride (Pronounced Bre-ed), known as Brigantia to the celtic and Saint Bridget when she was christianized.
It was said Bride walked the earth the eve before Imbolg, and so people placed garments in front of their houses, which she would bless on her way; in the morning the garments would be gathered, people reassured of Bride's protection and healing throughout the coming year.
|Bride both christianized and pagen, with a Brighids cross;|
a straw-woven cross said to protect households from lightning and fire.
At this time the Goddess changes from Crone to Maiden, full of hope and promise of life to come, and we celebrate her return with candles.
Imbolg traditions revolve around purification and light. Candles are lit in each room of the house to honor the returning sun. This is the time to cleanse and bless your home, to seek inspiration and rid yourself of limiting thoughts or negative attitudes
- to start anew!
The Catholic church replaced this festival with Candlemas Day on February 2, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and features candlelight processions.
Modern versions of Imbolg are to be found in many cultures; Ground Hog's Day, Aztec New Year, Chinese New Year, Roman Lupercalia, Valentine's Day and Candelmas.
We usually eat alot of Dairy foods during Imbolg and we have a tradition in my family during February to make cabbage in white sauce (milk sauce) and danish meatballs - a very filling dish!
As for crafts during this time, we embellish candles and make straw figures (and Brighid crosses!).
|Josephine - isn't she just adorable??! Her B-day is the 4th of Feb.,|
so of course we light the candle and send her a blessing :)
Candle Candle, Burning bright,
Winter's halfway done tonight!
With a-glowing, we are knowing,
Spring will come again!
What are your Imbolg/Spring traditions??