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Imbolc: A Festival Celebrating the End of Winter

Imbolc, a pagan holiday, takes place on February 1 and concludes at sunset on February 2. It signifies the end of winter and the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It is also one of the eight sabbats that make up the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, marking the start of each new season.

From Imbolc onward, we may start to investigate and prepare to implement the concepts and insights that we gathered and incubated over the winter. The holiday dates back to the 10th century and honours Brigid, an ancient goddess of poetry, crafts, and prophecy. For modern-day Wiccans, the celebration still centres around Brigid. Making a Brigid straw doll is one custom associated with this holiday that honours her (Brideog). Brideogs are dolls made from straw or rushes that are twisted, decorated with the first flowers and garden foliage, and wrapped in white cloth to represent a little dress.




Imbolc, a celebration of the returning light, is a time of renewal and new beginnings. Here are some simple ways to mark the occasion:

  • Before you start, open every window to freshen up the energy. To clear out any stagnant energies that have accumulated during the winter months, clap vigorously in each corner of the room or ring a bell.

  • Light up your space with candles and flames. The presence of fire is crucial to this celebration.

  • Get creative! Play music, dance, read poetry, sing songs, join a chorus, enroll in a class, paint or sketch, and sow the seeds for new interests and talents.

  • Gather cherry and almond buds, and incorporate them into your decorations.

  • Finally, create a Brigid cross by weaving straw soaked overnight over a frame of sticks. These crosses were traditionally placed under mattresses to aid with pregnancy, and were also blessed before sowing seeds in the spring.

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