Imbolc is the time of year when Pagan folk begin to look forward to spring; it is a time when the first shoots struggle through the cold earth and is associated with the arrival of the birth of new life.
Many Pagans like to celebrate the Celtic goddess Brigid at this time. She is associated with fire, poetry, metalworking, education, healing and birth.
Hang on, do I hear some dissent from the Southern Hemisphere? Did someone say they are sweltering in the sun down there and, yes, I can hear some Scandinavians saying that they are still shivering in the snow? Of course you’re both right but whilst Imbolc is being celebrated in certain parts of the world you can still enjoy a celebration or two, as the 1st of February is St. Brigid’s Day whilst the 2nd of the month is Candlemas.
Candlemas celebrates the purification of Mary the mother of Jesus at the temple, and was a time when all the candles in churches were blessed ready for use. On Candlemas Eve people used to place candles in their windows to celebrate the coming light and scare away evil spirits. If you’ve left your yuletide decorations up after Twelfth night (naughty naughty) this is the one day you can safely take them down and stow them away for next year.