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Imbolc, also known as candlemas or oimelc, is a pagan festival that marks the beginning of spring. Celebrated from the 1st to the 2nd of February, it is a time to honour the goddess brigid and to rejoice in the returning light. Known as a time of renewal, purification and new beginnings, imbolc is a time to come together and celebrate the turning of the wheel of the year. Below you will find our top ten favourite ways to celebrate imbolc:
One of the main elements of imbolc is the return of light. To celebrate this return, light a candle honouring the goddess brigid. The simplicity of this task makes it accessible to everyone. If you wanted, you could even make your own candles as part of your imbolc celebrations.
Imbolc is a time of purification and new beginnings. Why not take a purification bath using essential oils such as rosemary and bay to mark this occasion? This will help cleanse your body and mind, allowing new growth.
Choose an area in your home where you can find time to sit quietly. If using an altar cloth, colours of the season are ideal, whites, reds, gold, greens etc. Once the base of your altar is ready, you can begin layering it with items that speak to you. Below is a list of altar decoration ideas (click on the picture to print).
Brigid is the goddess of spring, fertility and life. To honour her, make your own brigids cross made out of rushes or straw. There are many youtube videos detailing how to make one of these crosses or click here for written instructions. This cross symbolises the return of light and the coming of spring; display it in your home or upon your altar.
Imbolc is a time of new beginnings and the start of the growing season. So take some time to meditate on what you want to see grow in your life. This is an opportunity to sit silently, breathe consciously and quiet the mind in order to tune into your own desires and set your intentions for the coming months.
Brigid is the goddess of fertility and creativity. To honour her, make your own brigid doll using corn husks, straw and twine. This can be used as a focal point for your celebrations, placed on your altar or even given as a gift.
During this time of healing, purification, and renewal, create a bed to lay your brigid doll in. Traditionally, the doll would be paraded around town before being put to bed and greeted again the next morning. Try making a bed out of rushes or other pretty materials.
With imbolc being a time of new beginnings, now is an ideal time to start the planting season. Begin by planting seeds in pots or in the garden to symbolise new growth. You can take this time to plan what you will grow in your garden and what you want to grow in other areas of your life.
Traditionally bánbhia, white foods were commonly served around this time. These consisted of dairy such as milks, cheeses, butters, curds and white meats. Seeded cakes, breads and buns are also popular foods, with barmbrack, a fruit bread, still regularly eaten at this time of year. Other popular imbolc foods include colcannon, wild onion soups, wild greens, leeks and blackberry pies and crumbles.
Imbolc is a time to celebrate the returning light and the coming of spring. Gather friends and family and feast. Place candles on the table, and raise a toast to the goddess brigid. Eat traditional imbolc foods and discuss growth and plans for the coming year. But most of all, enjoy the company surrounding you and bask in this time spent together.
However, you choose to celebrate this special time of year, enjoy it! Please tag us @surrender_to_happiness on Instagram with pictures of your imbolc celebrations. For information on beltane, click here. Finally, for help with new beginnings, look at our new ideas crystal grid kit. And don’t forget we also have our wonderful vision boards and manifesting your dreams workbook.