Imbolc, spring and the goundhog

spring flowers

We can light candles all winter in our feeble human attempt to bring back the light. Whether we do that or not, Imbolc is a special day if you’re tired of winter and longing for spring.   In the northern hemisphere, on the 2nd of February,  juices start to flow in the roots of plants, under the ground, even if the ground is frozen tight and covered with snow.  It is not a coincidence that in parts of our country, we look for a prediction on that day……..

Punxsutawney PA has for many years brought a ground-hog up from the ground, and held him up in the light to see if he sees his shadow.    Old wives’ tale?  No, deep rooted Gaelic tradition.  Here’s a quote from a Wikipedia article:

Gaelic folklore

The holiday was, and for many still is, a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. Celebrations often involved hearthfires, special foods (butter, milk, and bannocks, for example), divination or watching for omens, candles or a bonfire if the weather permits. Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather prognostication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day.

Winter will end, not soon enough for most of us, cos it’s been a cold snowy winter here, and much worse in some other parts of the country.  More cold and ice are supposed to be coming, but the earth is still preparing for spring.  Get those seed catalogs looked thru and get ready to garden, lol!

4 responses to “Imbolc, spring and the goundhog

  1. Very interesting! I didn’t know about any of that. I guess I never really thought about Groundhog’s Day other than it was a tradition. Very interesting history! I’m so ready for spring after this brutally cold winter.

  2. Funny they never taught me this stuff in Sunday School at the First Baptist Church in Selma 😉 But I still plan to make bannock bread tomorrow-thanks for the timely reminder!

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