What does that mean?
In Noelithic Ireland and Scottland Imbolc was meant to signify the midway point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox and is celebrated from February first through the evening of February second.
The holiday is primarily celebrated by Wiccans, Pagans, and other neopagan religions. Ibolc is the Celtic Sabbat that resides between Yule(Christmas) and Ostara (Easter) on the Celtic Pagan Wheel of the Year.
The Goddess Brigid
Imbolc became a festival to celebrate the goddess of fertility, poetry, crafts and prophecy.
Brigid was one of the most powerful goddesses of Celtic religion. She was the daughter of Dagda who was the oldest god in the Tuatha du Danann. According to myth, she was born with a flame on her head and was reared on the milk of a mystical cow. She was credited with the invention of keening, the traditional wailing for the dead performed by Irish and Scottish women,
In ancient times Ibolic was celebrated by crafting a likeness of Brigid out of oats and rushes, dressing it, and placing it in a basket overnight. The following day was celebrated with bonfires in tribute to Brigid.
In the Christian religion Brigid morphed into Saint Brigid who is one of the three patron saints of Ireland. St. Brigid is also the saint of milk and fire. She is the patron saint of Irish nuns, newborns, midwives, dairymaids, and cattle.
A twelfth century legend claims that the nuns of Kildare built a fire to honor St. Brigid and the fire burned for five hundred years and only women were allowed near it.
The church enacted the holiday, St. Brigid’s Day to take place on February first and replace the pagan Imbolc holiday. It is a feast day when on effigy of St. Brigid is washed in the ocean and surrounded by candles to dry. Crosses crafted out of stalks of wheat and created and called St. Brigid crosses.
Imbolc is also known as Feast of Torches, Oimelc, Lupercalia, Feats of Pan, Snowdrop Day, Feast of the Waxing Light, and Brigid’s Day.
Modern pagan celebrations of Imbolc are often small and include bon fires or fire rituals. It is a time to celebrate femininity, new beginnings, and fire.
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