Imbolc; Lá Fhéile Bhríde; St. Brigid's Day - Whatever you choose to call today, the 1st February is the festival which marks the beginning of Spring, it has been celebrated since neolithic times, as we see on the Hill of Tara at the Mound of the Hostages, the inner chamber is aligned with the rising sun on Imbolc. The festival is said to be originally associated with the pagan goddess Brigid, whom some say was a fertility goddess.
The name Imbolc is based on the old Irish 'i mbolg', meaning 'in the belly' this refers to the pregnancy and lactation of ewe's.
This evening we will hang the Brigid's Cross (see above) to welcome Brigid back, have a feast, a sloe gin cocktail, burn the blackthorn (sloe) wood and toast the return of Brigid, the return of light and the end of the darkest season - A toast to new birth and life, to nature's cycles, to blackthorns…and to healthy lactating ewe's!
Welcome back Spring.