Traditionally Imbolc is the time for extinguishing old ceremonial fires and lighting new ones (representing renewal), while celebrating the return of the light symbolized by the slowly lengthening days. For some parts of the world, winter is loosening its hold and the Winter Solstice seeds are stirring, breaking free of their shells, and showing signs of growth.
The Gaelic name for Imbolc is Là Fhèill Brìghde nan coinnlean translated as Brìghde’s Feast Day of the candles. Bìghde or Bridget (meaning “exalted one”) is a Celtic goddess associated with fire and the hearth connecting her to the Greek Hestia and the Roman Vesta. Interestingly, women who are about to marry are called Brides in honor of the blessings bestowed by the Goddess of Brides (Bridget).
Imbolc is currently celebrated starting around sundown on February 1 and throughout the next day. This holy day, or seasonal cross-quarter marks the half way point between the December Solstice and March equinox continuing through February 2.
Many translations of the Celtic word Imbolc suggests it means “in the belly of the Mother” where the seeds of new life are stirring – readying for the spring – a time of rapid growth and renewal. Read More