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Author Topic: General questions about Imbolc  (Read 7970 times)
folksymama
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« Topic Start: January 03, 2008, 02:10:27 pm »

I've gotten mixed answers...should this be celbrated ON Imbolc, or on "Imbolc Eve"?  Undecided
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« Reply #1: January 03, 2008, 03:10:53 pm »

I've gotten mixed answers...should this be celbrated ON Imbolc, or on "Imbolc Eve"?  Undecided

That's entirely up to you. Some people don't even rely on dates but rather their environs i.e the melting of frosts, lactation of ewes, etc.
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« Reply #2: January 03, 2008, 03:29:05 pm »

I've gotten mixed answers...should this be celbrated ON Imbolc, or on "Imbolc Eve"?  Undecided

I've always celebrated on Imbolc itself, but that's not the same for everyone. I'm sure its quite normal to celebrate on both days- or the night of the first and the morning of the second.
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And heart's frosty discipline
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« Reply #3: January 03, 2008, 03:48:59 pm »

I've gotten mixed answers...should this be celbrated ON Imbolc, or on "Imbolc Eve"?  Undecided
The Celtic fire festivals predate the current calendar and aren't actually based on cross-quarter days but on changes in the environment.  So opinions are bound to vary. 

I'd say, if you do happen to have ewes, celebrate when you notice them lactating.  But you probably don't.  So, as Tomas mentioned, first thaw is a good time if you're in the right climate.  Or whatever event marks the returning of light/spring in your area.  Back home I'd say when the trilliums bloomed since they were the first flowers of spring. 

Here in the desert, I don't really have a firm grip on the seasons yet, so I just celebrate with the local grove on the Sunday before Feb 2.  *shrug*  The gods seem to think this is good enough.

Since your question is about eve vs. day, the time of day would also seem to be relevant to you?  Personally, the hours before sunrise always seemed most appropriate to me, ending with the dawn.
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« Reply #4: January 03, 2008, 04:25:09 pm »

I've gotten mixed answers...should this be celbrated ON Imbolc, or on "Imbolc Eve"?  Undecided

Traditionally, the Celts celebrated their holidays on the evening before - as that as seen as the beginning of the new day.
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« Reply #5: January 04, 2008, 01:43:49 am »

lactation of ewes

If I were to have based my celebration of Imbolc in the last two years on lactating ewes, the first celebration would have been about November 2006 and the second about June 2007......
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folksymama
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« Reply #6: January 04, 2008, 08:25:07 am »


I'd say, if you do happen to have ewes, celebrate when you notice them lactating.  But you probably don't. 

Actually, we do have goats.  But, one has kidded already and one won't kid until mid-March.  I guess in the days when they were just left to their own devices, they probably all would have started lambing or kidding or...calving, I guess...around the same time, but not anymore.
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« Reply #7: January 04, 2008, 09:01:47 am »

If I were to have based my celebration of Imbolc in the last two years on lactating ewes, the first celebration would have been about November 2006 and the second about June 2007......
LOL

I was just listing different methods of how people determine when to celebrate Imbolc according to their environs. Do you have any local trees or flowers that bloom around Imbolc time?
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Juniper
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« Reply #8: January 04, 2008, 01:00:48 pm »

I was just listing different methods of how people determine when to celebrate Imbolc according to their environs. Do you have any local trees or flowers that bloom around Imbolc time?

Snowdrops! They are tiny little pretty flowers that can survive cool weather. And someplaces they even have daffodils that spring up everywhere during February- I love them because they are the colours that I associate with Imbolc: yellow, white, and orange.
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'How she longed for winter then!-
Scrupulously austere in its order
Of white and black
Ice and rock; each sentiment within border,
And heart's frosty discipline
Exact as a snowflake'
~Sylvia Plath
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« Reply #9: January 04, 2008, 02:07:02 pm »

Snowdrops! They are tiny little pretty flowers that can survive cool weather. And someplaces they even have daffodils that spring up everywhere during February- I love them because they are the colours that I associate with Imbolc: yellow, white, and orange.

Here, violets begin to pop about February or March. That's usually my signal that Imbolc and/ or spring has arrived.
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« Reply #10: January 04, 2008, 11:51:06 pm »

Here, violets begin to pop about February or March. That's usually my signal that Imbolc and/ or spring has arrived.

I was just thinking about the violets, and then I read your post.  What a perfect first sign of Spring!

Hmmmmm.  I think I'll have to work the violets in somehow.   Cheesy
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« Reply #11: January 06, 2008, 01:22:06 am »

Do you have any local trees or flowers that bloom around Imbolc time?

Honestly? I'm not sure. I've not really paid much attention to it before.
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« Reply #12: January 06, 2008, 01:32:58 am »

I guess in the days when they were just left to their own devices, they probably all would have started lambing or kidding or...calving, I guess...around the same time, but not anymore.

Because the flocks were put out to pasture in the spring, probably around Aeostre/Eostre, and brought back in close to home around Lughnassadh and the kids/lambs/whatever sorted off for selling and/or butchering, IMO, it worked better for the goats or sheep to lamb or kid around Imbolc. The worst of the winter storms were over, the new grass was beginning to grow and, when the time came to put them out to pasture, the babies were big enough and strong enough to keep up with mama and the rest of the flock/herd.

Also, when the kids or lambs are still at mama's side, mama won't (usually) breed back until they are weaned. Therefore, since the kids/lambs wouldn't be weaned until about the end of August, mama wouldn't breed back until about the first of September. With a five month gestation period in both goats and sheep, Imbolc begins to make sense when it's translated to "ewe's milkf". Wink

Confused? I'm sorry...I tried to get out what was in my head and I hope I didn't end up muddling it too badly. Wink

Hope this helps and remember, tis my two cents and I take full credit for it. Grin
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"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"
~~James Thurber
Mari
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« Reply #13: January 06, 2008, 04:00:27 pm »

Honestly? I'm not sure. I've not really paid much attention to it before.

In Kentucky at "Imbolc", everything is usually frozen solid.
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« Reply #14: January 08, 2008, 01:58:58 pm »

In Kentucky at "Imbolc", everything is usually frozen solid.

My mom gets crocuses and daffodils in her garden a little later - maybe starting the middle of February.   I associate the "standardized date" of Imbolc with the feeling of "ok, enough winter already" and mud after the snow melts.
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