What is Imbolc and 6 ways to celebrate it.
We are nearly at the end of January. The weather can be quite miserable at this time of the year - cold, wet and it’s getting dark really quick. All of the colorful Christmas decorations are tightly packed away in our garages and Spring seems to be far, far away.
Although hibernating at home under thick, fluffy blankets seems to be the best option, I encourage you to put layers on and go out for a winter walk - you might discover that Spring is not as far away as it seems to be...
On the 2nd of February, we are going to celebrate another turn of the wheel of the year - first of the Spring festivals. Imbolc is one of the 4 fire festivals celebrated during the year - others are Beltane, Lammas, and Samhain.
Imbolc is an ancient Celtic holiday, marking the start of the lambing season. It’s a midpoint between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox when the days are slowly getting longer and we can notice the first stirrings of life in the natural world around us. During this festival, we celebrate rebirth, renewal and first breaths of coming Spring.
Imbolc is a natural time of purification and cleansing. After months in the dark, looking inwards, nourishing and resting it’s finally time to move on, shake off the old and welcome the new.
As the first flowers of the year are poking their buds through soil and snow, we should also awaken from the winter sleep.
Imbolc is a time of intense planning and visualising, but also of taking the first steps towards turning our dreams into reality.
How to celebrate Imbolc?
- All pagan festivals are best observed outside. Go out for a walk with your family or friends and focus your attention on spotting first signs of Spring - snowdrops, daffodils, first buds on the trees
- When the sun goes down, light a candle (or many candles!) to honor and welcome back our sun. Spend some time meditating while looking at the flame and feel it’s warmth.
- A candlelit dinner is a very nice idea to celebrate Imbolc with the whole family. Cook food using leftover winter vegetables like squashes or pumpkins, but don’t forget to use seeds, grains, and milk - the symbols of new life and abundance.
- Plan your garden, bless the seeds, take care of your indoor plants - even if you are not a devoted gardener. If you only own a piece of land with nothing else on it than grass - it still needs your attention after winter. Also, consider planting some indoor herbs and flowers.
- Get crafty with your kids. Encourage them to paint nature: the sun, animals, their favourite outdoor places, green buds, and colorful flowers. Use as many happy, bright colours as possible. Teach them to notice the subtle changes in the natural world and see beauty in every little flower and creature.
- Decorate your home, yoga space or altar. Buy fresh daffodils or tulips, make a table centerpiece using decorative eggs (symbol of a new beginning), colourful ribbons, fresh fruits etc. Use colours associated with Imbolc: yellow, white, red, pink, green
I hope this post helped you to understand the meaning of Imbolc and gave you some ideas on how to celebrate this happy festival. Leave your comments below to let me know what are your early Spring plans?
Lots of love & light