I wanted to tell you about one of the celebrations that I had growing up. I wanted to tell you this because of the Easter celebrations that will be happening soon and I wanted to show how we celebrated around this time of year and how we celebrated spring.
It would have started in our village on the first of February with the celebration of Imbolc this day now called Saint Brigid's day this day is when we celebrated the start of spring and comes before the spring equinox, we celebrated the Goddess Brigid by burning lamps and lighting bonfires, these bonfires burned all day until the early morning of February second. Brigid was known as the Goddess of healing, poetry and smith craft. She is the Goddess of fire, sun and of hearth. We would celebrate her because she was said to bring fertility to the land and the people. When getting ready to celebrate we made an effigy of Brigid out of oats and rushes and placed her in a basket in order to invite Brigid into our homes.
Imbolc also celebrates the start of the lambing season and when we are able to start milking ewes, this is a great thing as it the start of new life, new beginnings. It is time to get rid of the old stuff of winter, have a clear out. There is a new light a new feeling everything is fresh, its a rebirth. Its a good time to plant new seeds that would be due to bloom fresh and new in summer.
Saint Brigid's Day is still celebrated today but not in the same way now it been woven into Christianity, people make crosses out of reeds and sometimes make dolls of St Brigid. St Brigid is one of the Patron saints of Ireland, She is connected to midwives and newborns.
We also celebrated spring by dressing in bright colours, having flowers growing and singing and dancing. It was a time to be happy because everything was fresh and new. We gathered flowers and plants that could be boiled to create bright coloured dyes for clothes. We celebrated the Goddess Éostre the hare was her symbol and fertility. It was always good to see eggs as they were seen as a symbol of rebirth