Imbolc as described at the Wiki page:
|Also called||Lá Fhéile Bríde (Irish Gaelic)
Là Fhèill Brìghde (Scottish Gaelic)
Laa’l Breeshey (Manx Gaelic)
|Observed by||Historically: Gaels
Today: Irish people, Scottish people, Manx people, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans
Pagan (Celtic polytheism, Celtic Neopaganism, Wicca)
|Significance||beginning of spring|
|Celebrations||feasting, making Brighid’s crosses and Brídeógs, visitingholy wells, divination|
|Begins||Northern Hemisphere: Sunset on 31 January
Southern Hemisphere: Sunset on 31 July
|Ends||Northern Hemisphere: Sunset on 1 February
Southern Hemisphere: Sunset on 1 August
|Related to||Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau,Candlemas, Groundhog Day|
Imbolc or Imbolg (pronounced i-molk or i-molg ), also called Saint Brighid’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Bríde, Scottish Gaelic: Là Fhèill Brìghde, Manx: Laa’l Breeshey), is a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 31 January–1 February, or halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Beltane, Lughnasadh and Samhain. It was observed inIreland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Kindred festivals were held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Welsh Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau.
Imbolc is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and it is associated with important events in Irish mythology. It has been suggested that it was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brighid and that it wasChristianized as a festival of Saint Brighid, who herself is thought to be aChristianization of the goddess. At Imbolc, Brighid’s crosses were made and adoll-like figure of Brighid, called a Brídeóg, would be carried from house-to-house. Brighid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brighid and leave her food and drink, while items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brighid was also invoked to protect livestock. Holy wells were visited and it was also a time fordivination.
In Christianity, 1 February is observed as the feast day of Saint Brighid, especially in Ireland. There, some of the old customs have survived and it is celebrated as a cultural event by some. Since the 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc, or something based on Imbolc, as a religious holiday.
Irish imbolc derives from the Old Irish i mbolg “in the belly”. This refers to the pregnancy of ewes. A medieval glossary etymologizes the term as oimelc “ewe’s milk”. Some Neopagans use Oimelc as a name for the festival.
Since Imbolc is immediately followed (on 2 February) by Candlemas (Irish Lá Fhéile Muire na gCoinneal “feast day of Mary of the Candles”, Welsh Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau), Irish imbolc is sometimes rendered as “Candlemas” in English translation; e.g. iar n-imbulc, ba garb a ngeilt translated as “after Candlemas, rough was their herding”.
The date of Imbolc is thought to have been significant in Ireland since the Neolithic period. This is based on the alignment of some Megalithic monuments. For example, at the Mound of the Hostages on the Hill of Tara, the inner chamber is aligned with the rising sun on the dates of Imbolc and Samhain.
The contest medium this Sabbat is collage! Whatever you want to say, however you want to say it about Imbolc. Submit photos to witches2brew at gmail dot com email. Winner chosen at random, deadline 11:59 p.m. February 2nd, winner drawn on February 3rd. Prize TBD.
Details on the Sabbat contests can be found here.