Usually celebrated on February 2nd (or the eve of February 1st), Imbolc (pronounced 'im'olk') is one of the four Celtic fire festivals that make up the wheel of the year, and celebrates the passing of winter and the return of spring. It comes at a time when many of us are longing for the end of cold, dark days, and serves as a reminder that brighter mornings and new growth are on the horizon.
As Imbolc is also St Brigid's Day, celebrations of this Celtic fertility goddess are also held to signify her transformation from the crone of winter to the maiden of spring, and often take the form of lighting candles, fires, and celebrating the sunlight. Appropriately, snowdrops are one of her symbols, and form as a further reminder that the bleakness of winter is waning.
The day is also a great opportunity to reassess any goals you set yourself back at the start of January, as the start of spring we plant the seeds that will grow and nourish us for the rest of the year. Spring-clean whatever you want to be rid of (both literally and metaphorically) and set forth on a new journey of optimism and hope. You could also plant some actual seeds to symbolise the promise of this new season.
Head over here for more ideas on how to celebrate the festival.
Eleanor is obsessed with stories. She writes for a number of online spaces including This is Your Kingdom, edits Creative Countryside, curates #aseasonalyear and teaches at Chalk House. In addition, she is currently studying for an MA in Creative Non-Fiction Writing. You'll find her roving the fields of the Lincolnshire Wolds or planning her next rural adventure.