Imbolc - 1st of February
Updated: Feb 1
Imbolc or Brighid's Day is celebrated by many Witches, Wiccans or Pagans around 1st or 2nd of February. This Gaelic tradition is marking of the begining of the Spring, or lambing season and new life. Other traditions call this celebration Candlemas or Groundhog's Day.
It is traditionally held around 1st or 2nd of February, which is halfway between Winter Solstice (21st of December) and Spring Equinox (around 20-23rd of March). It's time of making Brigid's crosses, doing divination and having a house spring cleaning. A word Imbolc is believed to come from an Irish word "folcaim" a word for washing away the old while waiting and observing the weather for the next 3 months.
Traditional colors are white, pink and red. Altars are decorated with first flowers like potted snowdrops and crocuses or even daffodils. In Ireland it is customary to make Bridhid's cross, which is made of red and white yarn, and fresh twigs. The cross has typically four arms tied, and some said it originated from Pagan sun-wheel. Cross is hanged above the entrances to the house smf Goddess Brighid or St. Bridgit is invoked to warn off diseases.
Invocation of Brigid:
"Sacred Brigid, come to me
bring your calm
bring your grace
bring you love
bring your strength
bring your knowledge
Sacred Brigid, come to me"
Imbolc is also a time of candle light, to invite sunshine back to our homes. For Pagans and Wiccans it is when Spring starts. It is a festival of hope and new beginnings, celebrating upcoming Spring and awakening of Mother Earth. It is also a time for a proper cleaning - real Spring cleaning, cleansing the space and air with fire to burn out the old stagnant energy of Winter. Nowadays it is done by burning a white candle in all 4 directions, placed on the window sill and by smudging your home with sage or frankincense.
Witches and Wiccans are making their year supply of altar candles during this time to be blessed during Imbolc.