Imbolc is a festival of purification and a celebration of the first signs of spring which occurs on the 2nd of February in the northern hemisphere and the 2nd of August in the Southern Hemisphere.It signifies the start of the physical changes that prepare for spring such milk beginning to form in the udders of the livestock such as sheep in preparation for the first births of spring. Imbolc also honours the goddess of fire, fertility, midwifery and young called Brigid. Many Wiccans, Pagans, etc, pay tribute to Brigid by rearranging their alters and invoking them through prayer, etc. However there are many other ways in which Wiccans (or people of other religions that celebrate this holiday) participate in the celebration of Imbolc.
Many people participate in spring cleaning on the eve of Imbolc (or a couple of days before) in preparation for a visit from the goddess. Some people use birch to sweep their floors or just place some birch wood on their alters as birch is highly associated with Briged and purification.
Making the Brideog is a tradition that is known to be done by a the man of the house but this isn't always the case. It involves fashioning long pieces of straw and other things into the shape of a doll in which is then dressed in a white dress and decorated in greenery. After she is finished some sprinkle sacred water onto the doll whilst speaking invocations to Brigid.
Brigit's Crosses is the most widely practiced ritual associated with the celebration of Imbolc in which involves weaving crosses out of straw in which are then sprinkled with sacred water whilst asking Brigid for her blessings and protection. These crosses are hung up in hallways, entries to dwellings, above children's beds, etc and the old crosses should be placed on the attic.
These crosses help cast protection.
The eve of Imbolc is the best time of the year to perform divinations specifically pertaining to the future welfare and prosperity of your family.
On the eve of Imbolc many people have an imbolc feast in which their family or friends get together to prepare and celebrate Imbolc. Some people eat certain foods associated with the goddess.
Many religions celebrate Imbolc and everyone may celebrate this holiday differently. This is based on my own knowledge and research and is not a representation of all the different religions that celebrate this holiday. This is just a basic guide on how some people celebrate this holiday/sabbath.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.