Imbolc (Imbolg)– the first day of Spring and the feast of Brigid!
Signs of spring are already showing up in our garden, green things pushing up through the ground, the sun rising earlier and earlier, bird song abounds and, the most heart lifting of all, there’s a stretch in the evening—that soft blue gloaming in the west that stretches the light after sundown.
This year will be the first time a feast day celebrating Bríd (both the mythic and saint) will be a public holiday. It falls on the first Monday of February, completing the cycle of the four Celtic feasts for which there is a public holiday, the other three being Samhain (November 1), Bealtaine (May 1), and Lughnasadh (August 1).
Lá Fhéile Bríde is the first public holiday that celebrates women—even Nollaig na mBan, Women’s Christmas doesn’t do that. As is fitting, some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians have composed and choreographed pieces for the day. I’ve posted these pieces by Caitlín Nic Gabhann—a slip jig Lá ‘le Bríde, Síle Denvir’s song Seo í isteach mo Bhrídeog, and Louise Mulcahy’s jig Port Naomh Bríd.
Enjoy the day and celebrate the end of Winter—even if it doesn’t look much like it wherever you are.