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Thread: Happy Imbolc

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    Happy Imbolc

    Imbolc or Imbolg also called (Saint) Brigid's Day is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It was traditionally held on 1st February. It lands about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (Northern Hemisphere) Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain For Christians, especially in Ireland, it is the feast day of Saint Brigid. Imbolc is mentioned in early Irish literature, and there is evidence suggesting it was also an important date in ancient times. It is believed that Imbolc was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid =, and that it was Christianized as a festival of Saint Brigid, who is thought to be a Christianization of the goddess.

    On Imbolc/St Brigid's Day, Brigid's crosses were made and a doll-like figure of Brigid (a Brídeóg) would be paraded from house-to-house by girls, sometimes accompanied by 'strawboys'. Brigid was said to visit one's home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was also invoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had, holy wells were visited, and it was a time for divination. Although many of its customs died out in the 20th century, it is still observed and in some places it has been revived as a cultural event. Since the latter 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc as a religious holiday.

    Last edited by Father Bill; 31st January 24 at 03:04 PM.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster. Lover of God, dogs, most people, joy, tradition, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Canadian Sinclair.

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