Monday, 2 February 2009

Celebrating simple traditions - Candlemas Day

Looking out at the frosts today and predicted snow its hard to think that Winter will soon be over yet in pre-Christian times, Feb 2 was a day of celebration known as the "Festival of Lights." Coming midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, it heralded the coming of spring.

Candles were lit to symbolize the return of the sun and lengthening days after the long months of winter darkness. Called Imbolc in Celtic cultures, this day marked the beginning of lambing season, and according to folkloric tradition, the initial stirrings of seeds in the earth.

The holiday is a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Rituals often involve hearthfires, special foods, divination or simply watching for omens (whether performed in all seriousness or as children's games), a great deal of candles, and perhaps an outdoor bonfire if the weather permits.

So tonight we will fill the house with candles and celebrate Candlemas!!!

1 comment:

VP said...

Hi Maxine - I thought I'd come over and visit seeing you were over at mine the other day. I love it when people close to here get in touch :D

I'll be writing a bit more about your area in the next few weeks - I have the new public planting in Radstock to write about (do you have any thoughts on it - it seems to be a bit controversial from what I can find out via the internet?), plus walking the old S&D line from Midford to Wellow to expand on from the post I did on News Years Day. And some objects from Midsomer Norton station may turn up from time to time!