Snowdrops and mugwort triptych, 2013. Digital Image
The Celtic fire festival of Imbolg (also known as Candelmas and Brighid’s Day) is most commonly celebrated on 1st and 2nd February, and marks the ending of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Hovering between seasons, it is a time of transition.
As the darkness fades, the belly of the earth begins to quicken, and light pierces the gloom in anticipation of the return to warmth.
The timing of Imbolg sometimes is guided by signs other than the calendar: some suggest that Imbolg be celebrated when the blackthorn blooms, and others suggest that the time for festivities in when snowdrops push their way through the snow.
Traditionally associated with the onset of lactation in ewes and other livestock, the festival is associated with milk and other special foods.
To celbrate Imbolg with a simple ritual, mix sheeps’ milk with rain water, and pour upon plants that you cherish.