Imbloc! Brigid's Day! Candlemas! Oh yes and Groundhog Day!

For all these many years I thought February 2nd was Groundhog Day!!!

It is so much more than that!

Falling right smack in the middle between the winter solstice and spring equinox, February 2nd is a time to rejoice in the earth as it begins awakening from it's winter sleep.  The sun is in the sky an hour longer than it was on the winter solstice, tiny bits of green are popping up through the slowly thawing ground, and ewes, preparing for the birth of their lambs, begin to lactate.  If one looks carefully, Mother nature is dropping hints everywhere that the earth is no longer in slumber but rather in the process of rebirth.

The day is given many names. And is celebrated in many different ways.  It is celebrated by widely diverse groups of peoples with differing belief systems from Celts to Wicca to Christians.  I hope to not offend anyone but rather to inform; and have tried to include links from different points of view.

Imbolc  Lambs are born at this time of year and therefore the ewes begin lactating.  It is a time to clean out the old to make room for the new.  Homes are often cleaned thoroughly, and a broom is placed near the door as a symbol that this has been done.  Old greens remaining from the holiday celebrations are removed and burned and replaced with tiny sprigs of freshly emerging plants.The hearth is cleaned and a new fire laid. It will be lit at sundown on February 1rst  and tended and kept burning through the night and the following day. Candles are placed in every room  to celebrate the returning sun.

 Brigid's Day  Brigid was the virgin goddess of fertility, healing, poetry and agriculture.  AND crafters take note - she is associated with creative inspiration and expression!  A small representation is often made of wheat, dressed in a scrap of fabric or a hankie and laid in a basket.  This practice is found most often in Scotland where she is known as "Bride".   Brigid's Crosses, woven from reeds or wheat stalks and representing prosperity and protection, are given as gifts or hung over doorways.

Celebrations of St. Brigid's Day and Candlemas are also celebrated on February 2nd and have religious significance in the church. The links below explain their religious significance much better than I can.  Candles and St. Brigid's crosses play a roll in the celebrations of this day.  In many parts of the world the day is celebrated by eating pancakes and is known as Pancake Day!  (Pancakes are round and golden (if you don't burn them) and therefore represent the sun!  Traditionally, the pancakes were to be made of grain harvested from last year's crop, but in these days and times, probably the wheat comes out of a bag! 

 Even though Groundhog day can be traced all the way back to Brigid, I have never found the day terribly exciting!  But taking time to appreciate and celebrate the return of the sun and to honor the "goddess of inspiration and artistic expression" seems like a worthwhile way to spend February 2nd!

I have made a special candle for Imbolc and woven a couple Brigid's Crosses.  I am sharing my candle today and my crosses tomorrow! 

At the end of both posts, I am providing a few links so you can read more if you like.

My Imbolc Candle!

While at Ikea looking for candles for my Advent Wreath last winter, I stumbled upon a sale!  These gorgeous, 4"x6" candles on sale for $1.00 each!   Perfect for creating a special candle for Imbolc!

I pulled out my pad of dried flowers, a roll of wax paper and my hair drier.

Following Linaloo's instructions in this cool tutorial, I applied the dried flowers to the candle. 

Tiny little violets and lobelia in a circle around the top.

Jacob's ladder around the bottom.

Violets and Jacob's Ladder are among the earliest to emerge in spring! They are already popping up in my garden!

I love how the flowers and leaves appear delicate and fresh - like early signs of spring in the garden.

A couple notes:
 

1)Take extra care when working with dried plant material because it is very delicate and any part of the flower that is not secured in the wax can easily tear and break apart when the wax paper is removed.  Remove the wax paper immediately but do so slowly and carefully.  If the blossom or leaf begins to tear, place the paper back against the candle and heat again.

2) I used a candle with a vertical curved surface.  NOT a good choice for this project as it is impossible to get the wax paper to lie flat against the surface of the candle.  I used it because this was the candle I had to work with and - the more I got into the project the more I was determined to "win"!  You understand that - right? But I lost a few flowers along the way.  Just so you know!

Some great links to better understand Imbolc, Brigid's Day, Candlemas, St. Briged's Day!   And tomorrow - I am making  Briged's Cross!

Imbolc - Celtic Festival   

Imbolc Tradidions 

More Imbolc Traditions

Candlemas and Pancakes 

St. Brigid's Cross part 1

St. Brigid's Cross part 2  

Celebrating Candlemas 

Fifth Century - Weaving a St. Brigid's Cross video

Feast of St. Brigid

Excellent tutorial for making Brigid's Cross

Candlemas (Feast of the Purification)

 

 


 

really beautiful website ...

really beautiful website ... <3

I think your informative

I think your informative holiday posts are my favorite! I always learn something new when I visit your blog :) Thank you for your sweet comments and e-mails, sorry I've been MIA lately. Busy, busy, busy!!! I am hoping to do some blogging soon! I've been sewing my first skirt and it's half done! xoxo

Very pretty and such a

Very pretty and such a bargain too!!!

Your candle is gorgeous. What

Your candle is gorgeous. What an appropriate way to celebrate Spring, with its welcome warmer temperatures, increased daylight and new life. I like the idea of celebrating with a light decorated with flowers.

That is amazing and so

That is amazing and so beautiful!

Pam, you have warmed my

Pam, you have warmed my heart. It feels good to be mindful of the reasons for the celebrations and remembrances. Imbolc is a wonderful Wiccan time of initiation, and fire is important in purpose, symbol and ritual. I LOVE your candle, and the use of plants and new growth! I remember that tutorial now, and how much I wanted to try that! I think this weekend has GOT to be the perfect time.

And, of course you know I am ALL for pancake day!!

What a beautiful candle! I

What a beautiful candle! I have never seen one as pretty as this one.
Thanks for sharing it with us.
-Phyllis

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