01 February 2007

Happy Imbolc - it's a Celtic holiday!

Today is the Celtic holiday Imbolc. It is one of the four principal festivals of the Celtic calendar. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brigid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St. Brigid's Day. In Scotland the festival is also known as Latha Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Lá Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gwyl Ffraed.

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to our modern Groundhog's Day on 2 February.

Brigid, also known as Brighid, Bríde, Brigit, Brìd; is the Goddess of poetry, healing, and smithcraft. As both goddess and saint she is also associated with holy wells, sacred flames, and healing.

Imbolc is a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Rituals often involve hearthfires, special foods, divination or simply watching for omens (whether performed in all seriousness or as children's games), a great deal of candles, and perhaps an outdoor bonfire if the weather permits. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.

Here's a special freebie for you to celebrate Imbolc - an embroidered St. Brigid's cross. Read about the cross and it's history here.
Download it here.

Please, no file sharing...that's digital piracy. Send your friends to this blog so they can get their own copy.

Slainte! {Gaelic for Cheers!}
[history source: Wikipedia]


Misty said...

Thanks so much for the cross and especially for the informative comments on the holiday.

Sarah said...

Thanks so much! Cool info too :)

Lexi said...

thanks Catriona!!!!!!


Hannah said...

This is gorgeous! Thank you so much!