Pin It
Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Imbolc: February 1-2

By
Imbolc/ flickr-Beige Alert

Imbolc is a pagan holiday, usually celebrated on the eve of February 1 and into February 2 in Ireland and Scotland. In the Middle Ages, its association may have been with the goddess Brigid (later Christianized as St. Brigid). Brigid is the Gaelic goddess of poetry, healing and smithcraft. In the Christian calendar, the holiday is now called Candlemas.

Both pagans globally and Christian communities in Scotland and Ireland celebrate St. Brigid’s day (for Christians) or Imbolc (pagans). It’s a feast day that represents the darkest hour of winter that comes before the dawning of spring. Lighting fires in the hearth and lighting and making candles (often by pouring paraffin into the snow to form “snow candles”) are activities of Imbolc. The lighting of candles and fires represents the return of the sun’s warmth over the next months. To commemorate the lactation of ewes pregnant with spring lambs, milk-based treats, such as custards, are popular during Imbolc.

Motifs for crafts common to St. Brigid’s Day/Imbolc can use straw to make St. Brigid’s crosses. Also common are Brigid dolls—and even little beds for these dolls—to lay by the fire on Imbolc Eve, to welcome St. Brigid’s presence, who arrives to walk the earth on Imbolc eve. On Imbolc day, girls carry these dolls from door to door and receive little gifts of coins or snacks. An acorn-tipped “magic wand” and a Brigid’s crown (with flower buds and light-emitting diodes (LEDs)!) would be appealing to little ones who wish to evoke the magic of spring’s arrival.

Finally, Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather forecasting, with the custom of watching to see if a snake or badger comes out of its hole, which is likely a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day.

© 2012, Staff. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Almost African: My Childhood as a Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

The freedom of growing up as the only Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia

Has the West taken fear too far?

Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

These kids make clear what language the U.S. speaks.

Around the World in One Semester

Welcome to our newest blogger--a world traveling, homeschooling mom--to the InCultureParent family!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


InCultureParent Staff

Leave us a comment!









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More Global Celebrations