Calendar

Jun
21
Fri
Midsummer
Jun 21 all-day

The Main Midsummer Eve Bonfire (1915) by Nikolai Astrup

The summer solstice was second only to Yule in importance to the ancient Northmen. Some groups mark this day as sacred to Balder, but we disagree with this. While Balder can be seen as a dying and resurrected Sun God, in the mythology we are most familiar with, he does not return to life until Ragnarok and it seems like “bad karma” to symbolically kill the sun when you know Baldr doesn’t come back until the end of the world. Instead, we mark this day as sacred to the Goddess Sunna, who is literally the sun.

One idea for midsummer is to remain awake all night and mark the shortest night of the year, then at sunrise to perform a “Greeting of Sunna” and a blot to her.

Another midsummer custom is the rolling of a flaming wagon wheel down a hill to mark the turning of the wheel of the year. If fire would otherwise be a hazard, one could parade a wheel covered with candles for similar effect. It is also a time for general merriment and in the Scandinavian countries many of what we know as the traditional May Day rituals such as May Poles and Morris Dances were celebrated at Midsummer rather than in May.

In our area Midsummer occurs during a large local Pagan festival, and we have gone all out in making it a major holiday with blot, sumbel, feasting and drinking. We are currently in the process of constructing a “sun ship” which, with sails of copper reflecting the light from small torches, represents Sunna will be brought forth at dawning and dusk.

Source Link: http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBHolidays.html

 

Midsummer, also known as Summer Solstice, marks the height of the sun’s power and the time of year when elongated days stretch out like boundless, curving paths into the mysterious future. Each morning begins with raucous, pre-dawn bird songs, enticing an early departure from slumberland and the instinctive urge to amble out to the misty patio to blearily breathe in the musky, sweet air gently moving across the bay. The seeds of spring have been sown, the rich soil now bursting with fresh life beginning to show signs of promising yields. These vibrations of mother earth are so intoxicatingly tangible during this season, and it delights to have the scent of dewy leaves or the way the sunlight catches on the coral petal of a rose resonate with memories from days long gone by. I can feel the velvety skin of my grandmother’s hand on my palm, hear a pocket of jangling change and grandpa singing, “That’s the spirit!” Faint whispers from the ancestors reminding me to give thanks for the life giving force of the sun and pay homage to the many generations that diligently farmed the land, year after year, spanning back for centuries and making my future existence possible.

Source Link: https://redice.tv/news/coming-home-to-asatru-at-midsummer

 

As in Denmark, Sankthansaften is celebrated on June 23 in Norway. The day is also called Jonsok, which means “John’s wake”, important in Roman Catholic times with pilgrimages to churches and holy springs. For instance, up until 1840, there was a pilgrimage to the Røldal Stave Church in Røldal(southwest Norway) whose crucifix was said to have healing powers. Today, however, Sankthansaften is largely regarded as a secular or even pre-Christian event.

In most places, the main event is the burning of a large bonfire. In Western Norway, a custom of arranging mock weddings, both between adults and between children, is still kept alive.[23] The wedding was meant to symbolize the blossoming of new life. Such weddings are known to have taken place in the 1800s, but the custom is believed to be older.

It is also said that, if a girl puts flowers under her pillow that night, she will dream of her future husband.

Source Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midsummer#Norway

 

Jun
24
Mon
International Fairy Day
Jun 24 all-day

Fairy Islands’ from the book Elves and Fairies 1916 by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite 

History of Fairy Day
Fairies have existed in just about every culture over the world, though they may have been called by different names. What they have in common, no matter where you go, is that they are spirits that inhabit the world around us and often operate by strange and often odd laws. That’s about where the similarities end, and where the amazingly diverse concepts that are the fae begin.

We’ve all heard of the winged fairies that flit around flowers and are always drawn like butterfly winged cherubs of slight form, but did you know that Dwarves and Gnomes are also part of the fae family? These creatures were common among the Germanic folk, and especially those who worked in mines and mountains. Knockers were a form of fairy that lived in mines and would ‘knock’ to warn miners of pending cave-ins and danger, hence their name.

The red-hatted gnomes that occupy so many people’s gardens were fashioned after creatures from the far north. These quiet and unassuming creatures were part of the dark northern forests and spent their time living near the homes of humans, which they’d sometimes help out. There’s even fae that lives in the oceans like the Irish Selkie, dark of hair and eye, these creatures were able to turn into humans. Turn into humans we say? Yes! They started lives as seals and would take off their skin when they came ashore and take the form of beautiful women. If one were lucky enough to steal their skin they’d be able to take a Selkie wife, so long as they didn’t let the skin be found!”

Source Link: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/fairy-day/

Aug
1
Thu
Freyfaxi (Lugnasad)
Aug 1 all-day

Well it is that time of year once again, (August) and the time of harvest is upon us! Although this date will vary from group to group, person to person, typicfally in the northern hemisphere it is around this time that we celebrate the bounty of the Earth, and the gifts that she brings us with the help of Frey. 

Even though many of us are no longer farmers, we still depend on the land for all that we are,e ven if you dont always realize it. Maybe we do not depend on it directly but most of us go to the grocery store and buy things that have come from the fields. This  is a time to honor Frey, god of the harvest, rains, and fertility. A time to thank him for the bounty of the earth, and all the gifts that he bestows upon us. 

We honor him because with out him, simply we would not have much of our food supply, and quite obviously without that, we do not have much at all! He bestows fertility to the fields and plants, gives them life, giving rain so that they may grow and flourish. With out him, as with many of the gods and goddesses we would not be alive today.

The Great God Frey gives life and fertility to all plants (along with Jord, Nerthus and many others). These plants including trees, give us oxygen. And we all know what that is for. So if you are not going to honor Frey, son of Njord, for the bounty of the land at least honor him for the life of the plants and world around us! We honor Frey by giving him a blot, and a grand feast from our own gardens and the fields. (If you do not have these things at least go spend some money and get a few things from a farmers market or something similar).

We thank Frey, and honor him for the harvest and the fertility of the land and ask him to give the land even greater fertility in the coming year and in the dark of winter.

Of course, there is more to thank Frey for than just the fertility of the land, but also for ourselves, and for our families, for Frey is also assocaited with the fertility of man, and we all know what that is needed for! So this coming Freyfaxi, remeber to honor Frey for all that he does for us.  

The holiday of FreyFaxi is ancient, and was much more important for the lives of our ancestors that it is today. Without a good harvest, many many people would perish in the winter. We honor Frey to thank him for the many harvests that we have had, if there was one terrible one, some of us may not be here today. Thanks to Frey we are. If a year is particularly horrible, such as this one is turning out to be, a more…drastic sacrifice would be used. Animal, human in some cases.

The name Lammas is taken from an Anglo-Saxon heathen festival which was forcibly Christianized. The name (from hlaf-mass, “loaves festival”) implies, it is a feast of thanksgiving for bread, symbolizing the first fruits of the harvest.

Heathens mark the holiday by baking a figure of the God Freyr in bread, and then symbolically sacrificing and eating it.

Again, no purely Heathen name has survived for this festival, which takes place at the beginning of August, as this was the time when the first fruits of harvest were brought to the church as gifts; since this was taken over from Heathen custom. In English and German tradition, the First Sheaf was often bound and blessed as an offering to Heathen deities or the spirits of the field at the beginning of harvest, just as the Last Sheaf was at its end. English folk custom also includes the decoration of wells and springs.

In Heathenism today, the feast is especially thought of as holy to Freyr as a fertility God, Thor as a harvest God and his wife Sif, whose long golden hair can be seen in fields of ripe grain. The warriors who had gone off to fight at the end of planting season came back, loaded with a summer’s worth of plunder and ready to reap the crops that had ripened while they were gone. Loaf-Feast is the end of the summer’s vacation, the beginning of a time of hard work which lasts through the next two or three months, while we ready ourselves for the winter.

Today we honor him with mead, or some type of drink, food from our table, typically foods we harvest ourselves, for example baked bread that we have made ourselves from the wheat he has bestowed upon us. Anyway that you honor Frey, is a good way. Traditionally however, it is with a blot and feast.

Source Link: http://www.theasatrucommunity.org/freyfaxi

Sep
21
Sat
Winter Findings
Sep 21 @ 12:00 am – Sep 29 @ 11:45 pm

I have not come across a great deal of distinctive traditional lore about the Autumn Equinox that would distinguish it from the Harvest festivals found worldwide. It seems to have been overshadowed to some extent by the Winter Nights which we celebrate at the equinox rather than at the more traditional time of mid-November.

Winter Finding should be treated as a general harvest festival. Whichever Gods you invoke for fertility of the land would be most appropriate to invoke again at this time. We have honored Frey & Freya and Nerthus & Njord for this purpose. You can take your pick. Even more so than other holidays, a large feast is appropriate at this time, perhaps concentrating on local vegetables and grains more than meat.

Source link: http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBHolidays.html

Oct
1
Tue
Samhain (Halloween)
Oct 1 all-day

Samhain (pronounced /ˈsɑːwɪn/ SAH-win or /ˈsaʊ.ɪn/ SOW-in, Irish pronunciation: [sˠəuɪnʲ]) is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with ImbolcBealtaine and Lughnasadh. Historically, it was widely observed throughout IrelandScotland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands; for example the Brythonic Calan Gaeaf (in Wales), Kalan Gwav (in Cornwall), Kalan Goañv (in Brittany), and Samaín (in Galicia[1][2][3]).

Information Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samhain

 

 

Composer Camille Saint-Saëns’ piece Danse Macabre draws on the late-medieval allegory of “the Dance of Death” — pictured here in a painting of the same name by Frans Francken

Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows‘ Evening),[5] also known as Allhalloween,[6] All Hallows’ Eve,[7] or All Saints’ Eve,[8] is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide,[9] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[10][11]

It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain; that such festivals may have had pagan roots; and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church.[1][7][12][13][14][15] Some believe, however, that Halloween began solely as a Christian holiday, separate from ancient festivals like Samhain.[1][16][17][18][19]

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfiresapple bobbingdivination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular,[20][21][22] although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.[23][24][25] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.[26][27][28][29]

Information Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween

Oct
29
Tue
Winter Nights
Oct 29 all-day

The beginning of the winter season for the Northern folk.  Rememberances of the dead and one’s ancestors were made during this feast.  Winternights was a ceremony of wild abandon; much like the Carnivale season in the Mediterranean countries, and it marked the end of the summer season of commerce and travel and the beginning of the winter season of hunting.  Much divination was done during Winternights to foretell the fates of those entering the coming year.  It was said that if one sat on a barrow-mound (grave) all night long on Winternights, one would have full divinatory, shamanic (galdr and seith), and bardic (skaldr) powers . . . that is, if one retained one’s sanity!  Winternights marked the beginning of the Wild Hunt, which would continue until Walpurgisnacht.  This festival corresponds roughly to the Celtic Samhain, and the modern American festival of Halloween, although the darker aspects of the festival are not as pronounced among the Norse people.  (The Norse festival of darkness was Walpurgis, a full 6 months away).

Some Nordic-inspired groups call it Winter Nights, as winter is coming on. Hela, Goddess of the Dead, is honored on this day, as is Mordgud the guardian of the Underworld, Nidhogg the corpse-eating dragon, Hlin the Goddess of Grief, and Hermod who walked the road to Hel. The Norns (Fates) can be honored here (or sometimes on December 30, modern New Year’s Eve, to foretell the year’s future). Because the veils between the worlds are thin at this time, Vor the goddess of divination may be honored. Baldur, Nanna, and Hoder may be honored in their after-death form as deities of light in darkness. The ancestors and beloved Dead are, of course, hailed at this time, but they may also be hailed rightly at any other holiday, as there is a strong streak of ancestor worship in the Northern Tradition.

 

​Winternights is held the 31st of October. Winternights marked the final end of harvest and the time when the animals that were not expected to make it through the winter were butchered and smoked or made into sausage. The festival is also called “Elf-Blessing”, “Dis-Blessing”, or “Frey-Blessing”, which tells us that it was especially a time of honouring the ancestral spirits, the spirits of the land, the Vanir, and the powers of fruitfulness, wisdom, and death. It marks the turning of the year from summer to winter, the turning of our awareness from outside to inside. Among the Norse, the ritual was often led by the woman of a family – the ruler of the house and all within. One of the commonest harvest customs of the Germanic people was the hallowing and leaving of the “Last Sheaf” in the field, often for Odin and/or his host of the dead, though the specifics of the custom vary considerably over its wide range. The Wild Hunt begins to ride after Winternights, and the roads and fields no longer belong to humans, but to ghosts and trolls. The Winternights feast is also especially seen as a time to celebrate our kinship and friendship with both the living and our earlier forebears. It marks the beginning of the long dark wintertime at which memory becomes more important than foresight, at which old tales are told and great deeds are toasted as we ready ourselves for the spring to come. It is a time to think of accomplishments achieved and those which have yet to be made. Winternights also marks the beginning of a time of indoor work, thought and craftsmanship.

These festival and feast celebrated the accessibility, veneration, awe, and respect of the dead. This was also a time for contemplation. To the ancient Germanic peoples death was never very far away, and it viewed as a natural and necessary part of life. To die was not as much of a surprise or tragedy it is in modern times and death as not viewed as something “scary” or “evil”. Of higher importance to the Germanic people was to live & die with honour and thereby live on in the memory of the tribe and be honoured at this great feast.

Starting on this night, the great divisions between the worlds was somewhat diminished which can allow the forces of chaos to invade the realms of order, the material world conjoining with the world of the dead. At this time began the Wild hunt in which the restless spirits of the dead and those yet to be born walked amongst the living. The dead could return to the places where they had lived and food and entertainment were provided in their honour. In this way the tribes were at one with its past, present and future.

Again, the Christians forcefully subverted the sacred Germanic Heathen calendar to honour Christianity, Winter nights on October 31 became “All Hallows Eve” and November 1st was declared “All Saint’s Day”.

 
Nov
29
Fri
Winter Nights
Nov 29 – Nov 30 all-day

The beginning of the winter season for the Northern folk.  Rememberances of the dead and one’s ancestors were made during this feast.  Winternights was a ceremony of wild abandon; much like the Carnivale season in the Mediterranean countries, and it marked the end of the summer season of commerce and travel and the beginning of the winter season of hunting.  Much divination was done during Winternights to foretell the fates of those entering the coming year.  It was said that if one sat on a barrow-mound (grave) all night long on Winternights, one would have full divinatory, shamanic (galdr and seith), and bardic (skaldr) powers . . . that is, if one retained one’s sanity!  Winternights marked the beginning of the Wild Hunt, which would continue until Walpurgisnacht.  This festival corresponds roughly to the Celtic Samhain, and the modern American festival of Halloween, although the darker aspects of the festival are not as pronounced among the Norse people.  (The Norse festival of darkness was Walpurgis, a full 6 months away).

Some Nordic-inspired groups call it Winter Nights, as winter is coming on. Hela, Goddess of the Dead, is honored on this day, as is Mordgud the guardian of the Underworld, Nidhogg the corpse-eating dragon, Hlin the Goddess of Grief, and Hermod who walked the road to Hel. The Norns (Fates) can be honored here (or sometimes on December 30, modern New Year’s Eve, to foretell the year’s future). Because the veils between the worlds are thin at this time, Vor the goddess of divination may be honored. Baldur, Nanna, and Hoder may be honored in their after-death form as deities of light in darkness. The ancestors and beloved Dead are, of course, hailed at this time, but they may also be hailed rightly at any other holiday, as there is a strong streak of ancestor worship in the Northern Tradition.

 

​Winternights is held the 31st of October. Winternights marked the final end of harvest and the time when the animals that were not expected to make it through the winter were butchered and smoked or made into sausage. The festival is also called “Elf-Blessing”, “Dis-Blessing”, or “Frey-Blessing”, which tells us that it was especially a time of honouring the ancestral spirits, the spirits of the land, the Vanir, and the powers of fruitfulness, wisdom, and death. It marks the turning of the year from summer to winter, the turning of our awareness from outside to inside. Among the Norse, the ritual was often led by the woman of a family – the ruler of the house and all within. One of the commonest harvest customs of the Germanic people was the hallowing and leaving of the “Last Sheaf” in the field, often for Odin and/or his host of the dead, though the specifics of the custom vary considerably over its wide range. The Wild Hunt begins to ride after Winternights, and the roads and fields no longer belong to humans, but to ghosts and trolls. The Winternights feast is also especially seen as a time to celebrate our kinship and friendship with both the living and our earlier forebears. It marks the beginning of the long dark wintertime at which memory becomes more important than foresight, at which old tales are told and great deeds are toasted as we ready ourselves for the spring to come. It is a time to think of accomplishments achieved and those which have yet to be made. Winternights also marks the beginning of a time of indoor work, thought and craftsmanship.

These festival and feast celebrated the accessibility, veneration, awe, and respect of the dead. This was also a time for contemplation. To the ancient Germanic peoples death was never very far away, and it viewed as a natural and necessary part of life. To die was not as much of a surprise or tragedy it is in modern times and death as not viewed as something “scary” or “evil”. Of higher importance to the Germanic people was to live & die with honour and thereby live on in the memory of the tribe and be honoured at this great feast.

Starting on this night, the great divisions between the worlds was somewhat diminished which can allow the forces of chaos to invade the realms of order, the material world conjoining with the world of the dead. At this time began the Wild hunt in which the restless spirits of the dead and those yet to be born walked amongst the living. The dead could return to the places where they had lived and food and entertainment were provided in their honour. In this way the tribes were at one with its past, present and future.

Again, the Christians forcefully subverted the sacred Germanic Heathen calendar to honour Christianity, Winter nights on October 31 became “All Hallows Eve” and November 1st was declared “All Saint’s Day”.

 
Dec
3
Tue
Alfar (Elf) Migration Day
Dec 3 all-day

On New Year’s Eve, it is believed that the elves move to new locations, and Icelanders leave candles to help them find their way.

 Alexander, Merle (1995-12-19). “CHRISTMAS ABOUNDS WITH SPIRITS”. The Oregonian. pp. FD02.

 

Dec
20
Fri
Yule (Yuletide)
Dec 20 all-day

Yule or Yuletide (“Yule time”) is a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples. Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. It later underwent Christianised reformulation resulting in the term Christmastide.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Today Yule is also used to a lesser extent in the English-speaking world as a synonym for Christmas. Present day Christmas customs and traditions such as the Yule logYule goatYule boarYule singing, and others stem from pagan Yule. Today the event is celebrated in Heathenry and some other forms of Modern Paganism.

 

Information Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule

 

Yule is the most important holiday of the year. Everyone is familiar with the shortness of the deep winter days, but in the Scandinavian countries this is of even greater importance. At the Yuletide there is almost no sunlight at all, and the climate would have people bound in their homes waiting for the return of Spring.

Yule is a long festival, traditionally held to be 12 days or more. After Yule the days began to get longer and the festival represented the breaking of the heart of winter and the beginning of the new year. Yule was the holiday of either Thor or Frey, although there is no reason not to honor both Gods in modern practice.

Frey is the God of fertility and farming and was honored at Yule in the hopes that his time would soon return. Frey is also an important God at this time as shown in the myth “The Wooing of Gerd.” Gerd is Frey’s wife, and she was once a frost giant. Frey had seen her while he was seated on Odin’s High Seat, and was utterly taken by her, but she would not yield until Skirnir, Frey’s messenger or perhaps Frey in disguise, threatened her with an eternity of cold. In this way, Frey brings back the summer times by wooing a daughter of cold and frost. His love for her brings warmth to her heart and to the land.

Thor’s position at Yule is a bit more savage. He is the sworn enemy of the Frost Giants and Jotnar who rule the winter months, and as such is honored as the God who’s actions fight off these creatures and bring back the spring.

Our kindred also honors Sunna, the Sun Goddess, at Yule. However, we feel she is more important at Midsummer, when she is at her height.

The most important symbols of Yule are still with us today. Most of the supposedly secular customs of Christmas are actually Pagan in origin. Evergreen trees and holly which remained green throughout the long nights and cold were a promise that spring would once again return to the land. These symbols may also have been a connection to the nature spirits who have sway over the return of the warm days. The modern conception of Santa Claus as an elf, for whom offerings of milk and cookies are left, is possibly a modern continuation of leaving offerings for the Alvar and other nature spirits. The idea of children staying up all night in the hopes of catching a glimpse of Santa Claus may be a remnant of people staying awake to mark the long night and remind the sun to return. (In the latter case it’s considered an adequate substitution to leave a candle going all night to light the way for the returning sun.)

Yule is a weeks long festival, not just a single holiday. The Yule season begins on the solstice, which is the Mother Night of Yule, and ends with Twelfth Night/New Years. As a point of interest, January seventh is St. Distaff’s day, which Nigel Pennic has suggested may have been a day sacred to Frigg, whose symbol is the distaff.

While one might expect a rather dour theme to a holiday held in the darkness and cold, Yule is a time of feasting and gladness.

The most important custom at Yule for modern Pagans is the swearing of Yule oaths. Our kindred does this at Twelfth Night (aka New Years Eve). We hold a sumbel and we keep the Yule wreath handy for anyone who wishes to swear an oath for the coming year.

There are simply so many different Yule customs, both ancient and modern, that one has almost limitless possibilities even when staying within Scandanavian and Germanic customs. In modern practice one might honor Sunna on the Mother Night, then hold a blot a few days later to Thor, a feast for New Years day which is shared with the house and land spirits, and then finish on Twelfth Night with a ritual to Frey, whose time is then officially beginning.

Source Link: http://www.ravenkindred.com/RBHolidays.html

Feb
2
Sun
Charming of the Plow (Beltane)
Feb 2 all-day

On this day, in Asatru many heathens will honor the beings of fertility and spring, such as Frey, Nerthus, Jord, the Goddess Ostara, the Ancestors and vaettir of the land, the wights. To Frigg and Freya, many of the divine are honored at this time, for there is much to give thanks for, and be mindful of. We give thanks and honor to these beings of life and fertility, we thank them for the gifts that they give us, and we ask them to continue to do so.

It is however, important to remember that we are still in Winter, and the dark tendrils of the cold are still tight on the land. Some darker aspects of the divine are also appropriately honored, such as Odin, with his many aspects, giving Odin thanks is never a bad thing.

Source Link: http://www.theasatrucommunity.org/charming-of-the-plow?p=66

Charming of the Plow is a time of fertility, thanks, and hope for the coming spring. It is a time to give thanks to the land for keeping us during the winter, the earth, the divine, and the spirits  for the fertility that is to come in the spring. Charming of the Plow is an important holiday.

mbolc or Imbolg (/ɪˈmɒlɡ/ i-MOLG), also called (SaintBrigid’s Day (IrishLá Fhéile BrídeScottish GaelicLà Fhèill BrìghdeManxLaa’l Breeshey), is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 1/2 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.[1][2] Historically, it was widely observed throughout IrelandScotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals—along with BeltaneLughnasadh and Samhain[3]—and corresponds to the Welsh Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau. For Christians, especially in Ireland, it is the feast day of Saint Brigid.

Imbolc is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times. It is believed that it was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid (goddess of fertility) and that it was Christianized as a festival of Saint Brigid, who is thought to be a Christianization of the goddess.[4] At Imbolc, Brigid’s crosses were made and a doll-like figure of Brigid, called a Brídeóg, would be paraded from house-to-house. Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, while items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was also invoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had, holy wells were visited and it was also a time for divination.

Although many of its customs died out in the 20th century, it is still observed and in some places it has been revived as a cultural event. Since the latter 20th century, Celtic neopagansand Wiccans have observed Imbolc as a religious holiday.[1][2]

Source Link:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc