Sunday Respite – Celebrating Imbolc, St. Bridgid, Candlemas Day

Today a description & celebration of the Irish Celtic festival of Imbolc or Brigid’s Day with stories and traditions to a background of gentle Irish music

Imbolc is the time between Yule and the Spring Equinox, the halfway point in the dark months of the year. It’s the time when the days suddenly seem to be getting longer, and the snow is beginning to melt, showing us small patches of earth and green. At this time of returning spring, our ancestors lit bonfires and candles to celebrate the rebirth of the land.

As the world awakes from the dark slumber of winter, it is time to cast off the chill of the past and welcome the warmth of spring.

In Ireland, this holy day is called Imbolc and begins at sunset on February 1 continuing through sunset February 2nd. There are several different derivations offered for the name Imbolc: from Ol-melc (ewe’s milk) because the ewes are lactating at this time, from Im-bolg(around the belly) in honor of the swelling belly of the earth goddess, and from folcaim (I wash) because of the rites of purification which took place at this time. All of these explanations capture the themes of this festival.

February 1st is the feast day of St. Brigid, who began her life as a pagan goddess and ended up a Christian saint. She was a fire and fertility goddess. In her temple at Kildare, vestal virgins tended an eternal fire. On her feast day, her statue was washed in the sea (purification) and then carried in a cart through the fields surrounded by candles.

The legends about the goddess, Brigid, gradually became associated with (the somewhat spurious) Saint Brigid who founded the first convent in Ireland (where else?) at Kildare.

More at School of the Seasons


8 Responses to “Sunday Respite – Celebrating Imbolc, St. Bridgid, Candlemas Day”

  1. My Article Read (1-30-2016) – My Daily Musing Says:

    […] Sunday Respite – Celebrating Imbolc, St. Bridgid, Candlemas Day […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. geeez2014 Says:

    that is lovely….I’d never known a pagan goddess became a Christian saint…thanks for that info, B…xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Interesting how many of our customs have roots from a distant time and place.


  3. petermc3 Says:

    …never knew February first carried any significance. This was beautiful, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. petermc3 Says:

    I posted this on America’s Watchtower as well…hope you don’t mind Bunket.
    As I posted sometime this past week here in northern Bergen County, NJ, the Bernie and Hillary signs are decorating many lawns. These are probably the same overtaxed upper middle class people who don’t decorate their homes for Christmas. Most probably another 40% tacked onto their tax bill is a small price to pay for giving up their freedom, their independence and their wealth. Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks, and glad other enjoyed it. Many of our customs come from “way back” and always nice to appreciate the rounding of the seasons.
      Yes, the gullible have lost something in their DNA called self preservation. Sadly, their progeny will bear the fruits of their decisions.


  5. hocuspocus13 Says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks so much!


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