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Brigid was the daughter of a slave and a chieftain who was celebrated at an early age for her agricultural knowledge. Brigid lived her entire life there. She was renowned for her charity to the poor and stories abound about her healing powers.

Traditional Scottish Celebrations and Festivals

Brigid was a friend of St. Brigid is said to have died in A. The remains of her skull and hand are claimed to be in the possession of churches in Portugal. In the 12th century, legend holds that the nuns in Kildare attended to a fire built in St. The fire had burned for years and produced no ash, and only women were allowed in proximity of the fire. The celebration of St.

What is Imbolc and Candlemas?

On her feast day, an effigy of St. Brigid of Kildare is traditionally washed in the ocean and surrounded by candles to dry, and stalks of wheat are transformed into cross talismans known as Brigid crosses. The modern celebration of Imbolc is considered a low-key, loose and sometimes private affair concerned with reconnecting with nature.

Others embrace the symbolism of the holiday and keep to the February 1 celebration. The goddess Brigid is central to the celebration for modern Wiccans. In the tradition of the original Celtic festival, Wiccan groups that worship Brigid might include fire rituals on Imbolc.

Traditions from both the pagan celebration of Imbolc and the Christian celebration of St. Celebrants sometimes make a Brigid cross out of reeds as well as a Brigid corn doll or effigy. Candlemas is a Christian holiday celebrated on February 2 that has aspects in common with Imbolc.


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Its celebration can be traced to 4th century Greece as a purification holiday and a celebration of the return of light. Candles have traditionally been used in its observance. February 2 is also celebrated as Groundhog Day , which began in the United States in The idea is that a groundhog exiting its burrow can predict whether winter will stay or go based on whether the groundhog sees its shadow.

The day was a stunt by a newspaper in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania , that has endured. Concocted in Pennsylvania Dutch country, Groundhog Day is believed to be an adaptation of a German Candlemas tradition involving a badger. There have been attempts to portray Groundhog Day as a modern offshoot of Imbolc, but the two days are not likely directly related. Carl F.

February 2 - The Feast of Candlemas

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Encyclopedia of Ancient Deities. Charles Russel Coulter and Patricia Turner. Carole M Cusack. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present.

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La Chandeleur (Pancake Day)

Samhain is a pagan religious festival originating from an ancient Celtic spiritual tradition. When did the first St. And just how much corned beef and cabbage is consumed in the U. Find out how many Americans trace their lineage to Ireland and more fun facts about St. When is St. Helping You Live a Magical Life! Animal Guides. Candle Magic. Celtic Lore.

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Essential Oils. Herbal Guide. Moon Phases. Nature's Insight. As with all Old Tradition observances, this holiday is usually celebrated beginning at sundown on February 1 and continuing through the day of February 2. Imbolc means in the belly of the Mother because that is where seeds are beginning to stir as it is Spring. Another name for this holiday is Oimelc, meaning milk of ewes since it is also the traditional lambing season in the old world.

Imbolc, Candlemas and Brigid’s Day 2018: what is the festival all about?

Herd animals have either given birth to the first offspring of the year or their wombs are swollen and the milk of life is flowing into their teats and udders. It is the time of Blessing of the seeds and consecration of agricultural tools. It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. This holiday is especially sacred to the Celtic Fire Goddess, Brigit, patron of smithcraft, healing, midwifery, and poetry.

It is the festival of the Maiden, for from this day to March 21st, it is her season to prepare for growth and renewal. The Maiden is honored, as the Bride, on this Sabbat.


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