Welcome Imbolc, the Celtic Spring

Imbolc

Imbolc is the Celtic Spring season – halfway through the winter darkness and the long days of summer.
At Neolithic sites in Ireland, underground chambers have been discovered that align perfectly with the rising sun on Imbolc.

2 February is also a celebration of the goddess Brigit whose name means “bright one”(also known as Brighid or Bride); the keeper of the sacred flame and the guardian of home and hearth. To honor her and get ready for the coming of Spring, the Celts performed purification rites and organized cleaning of their dwellings (Spring cleaning anyone?). In addition to fire, she is a goddess connected to inspiration and creativity.

In some parts of the Scottish Highlands, Brigit is known as Cailleach Bheur, a woman with mystical powers and older than the land itself. She is also recognized as a warlike figure, Brigantia, from the Brigantes tribe near Yorkshire, England. The Christian version, St. Brigid, was said to be the daughter of a Pictish slave who was baptized by St. Patrick and founded a community of nuns in Kildare, Ireland.

According to the Carmina Gadelica, the Celts celebrated an early version of Groundhog Day (2 February) on Imbolc, too. However, they didn’t observe a groundhog or hedgehog as is done today. Instead they sang this poem about a serpent:

Thig an nathair as an toll
(The serpent will come from the hole)
la donn Bride
(on the brown day of Bride (Brighid)
Ged robh tri traighean dh’an
(though there may be three feet of snow)
Air leachd an lair
(On the surface of the ground.)

 

Day 11 – A Cup of Cheer!

Yule - Day 11Today was the last Seahawk game of the season and there was A LOT of cheering going on! We beat the Rams 20 – 13.

Time for the playoffs!

Day 10 – A Sprig of Holly

Yule - Day 10I collected some holly sprigs from the tree in my mom’s yard be fore we left and made this fun, prickly bouquet.  There were no berries, though…the birds had already feasted on them. 🙂 The red gel-like balls are special self-watering ‘hydrogems.’

Day 9 – The Yuletide Full Moon

Yule - Day 9The December full moon is also called the “long-night’s moon” since it is the closest full moon to the northern winter solstice (when the nights are longest). I’m spending the long-night with a cup of chai tea and ‘The Hobbit’ on my Nook.

Day 8 – Here We Go a Caroling!

Yule - Day 8I found some Scottish and Celtic tunes in the stack of CDs at mom’s…and even one from Sting!
They’re living on my mp3 now and will accompany us on the ‘sleigh’ ride home today. Wassail!

Day 7 – Decorations on the Tree

Yule - Day 7On my original list I had caroling or singing for today, but we didn’t go anywhere there was any singing going on. So, I switched tomorrow’s topic to today. Here’s one of my favorite decorations on my mom’s tree…the glass Santa piper.

Maybe there will be singing somewhere tomorrow….

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