venerdì 31 gennaio 2014


The first day of February is the old Celtic festival marking the reawakening of the earth and the beginning of the spring which is the beginning of the growing season.  Imbolc, was originated during the middle ages in Ireland and is one of the Great Sabbats or Pagan holidays. It is held on halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and it is seen as a celebration of newness. At this time the season has already started its slow transformation. 

Goddess Brigit
The days slowly lengthen and for the ancient peoples this was the most difficult time to overcome because food reserves accumulated through the winter began to fail. 
It is a celebration in honor of herd animals, mainly sheep, that have become pregnant and are now producing milk.  Some other names of Imbolc are Candlemas and St. Brigid's Day. 

On the wheel of the years Imbolc is opposite Lughnasadh, the Sabbat of Harvest. Imbolc is a time of cleasing and celebrating new beginning. It is time for purification and spring cleaning in anticipation of the year's new life.  
For Celtic pagans, the festival is dedicated to the goddess Brigid, daughter of The Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann a race of supernaturally-gifted people in Irish mythology (they are thought to represent the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland).  

Goddess Brigit 
Brigit was the most important Goddess for the Celts. She was abbess of Kildare, the most prestigious monasteries in Ireland founded in 470. The abbey was famed throughout Christian Europe. Brigit was the patron of poets and healers, druids, warriors and artisans in particular, the blacksmiths. 

Image from web
At Imbolc was traditional make a Brigid's cross to welcome the goddess into the home. Imbolc symbols are candle, candle flame, grain dollie, milk-producing creature.  

The return of life is celebrates by the Christian Church as Candlemas. The festival is called Candlemas because this was the day that all the Church's candles for the year were blessed. 

"Candlemas Day", c. 1901 / Marianne Stokes* (1855-1927)

The festival recognises the Purification of Virgin Mary, when she went to the temple for 40 days after giving birth to Jesus, to be cleansed. Like some other Christian festivals, Candlemas draws some of its elements from Paganism.
People believed that Candlemas predicted the weather for the rest of the winter. 
A traditional proverb says...

* Marianne Stokes (1855 Graz, Styria – August 1927 London), born Marianne Preindlsberger in the Austrian province of Styria, was an Austrian painter. She settled in England after her marriage to Adrian Scott Stokes (1854–1935), the landscape painter, whom she had met in Pont-Aven. Marianne Stokes was considered one of the leading artists in Victorian England.

In italiano ho scritto questo post lo scorso anno.
Buona lettura!:)

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