Imbolc ~ August 2nd
Imbolc is celebrated on August 2nd, and is also known as Candlemas. Another name is Oimelc, which means "ewe's milk" and refers to the pregnant sheep coming into milk at this time of year.
Celebrations at Imbolc are performed to welcome back the sun, which is slowly but surely making a comeback. Days are noticably longer now, and people were anxious for spring to return in full force. Lighting candles and fires is the most common activity for the day. With spring on the horizon, weather prediction was a common rite at this time.
Both the God and Goddess are young in the Spring, and symbolize new life and new beginnings.
Imbolc is a special holiday, sacred to the Celtic Goddess, Brigid. One common rite of the past is for a young girl dressed as the virgin Goddess to proceed through the village wearing a circle of candles on her head. Love for Brigid was so strong that the Church was forced to recognize her, though the Catholics turned her into St. Brigit. And Imbolc became St. Brigit's Day.
Activities and Rituals: spring cleaning, cleanse and purify your tools and your soul, prepare a new project.
Incense : evergreen,willow,rosemary,clover,dill
Colors: white, pale green, yellow, pink
Symbols & Decorations: Candles, The Bride, Burrowing Animals, Grain Dolly, Sun Wheels
Foods: dairy products (goat cheese, milk) seeds, breads, cakes, eggnog, pork (viking), dried fruit
Teas: Chamomile, red clover, rosemary, blackberry
virgin goddesses, all fire goddesses Brigid, Attar, Arani,
Gaia, Februa, Blaize, Lucina, Vesta, Selene, Dahud,
Athena, Anu, Arianhrod, Arachne
Fire gods, Bannik, Cupid, Diancecht, Essus, Pax, Braggi, Dainichi, Dumuzi, Februus, Trusto
Herbs and Flowers: evergreen, willow, rosemary, clover, dill
Animals: Sheep, ewes, lambs, goats, burrowing animals, dragon, deer
Work: unknown at this point