Many of the ancient pre-Christian celebrations were hijacked when Christianity arrived, and adapted – or toned down. Some of them have been forgotten altogether.
Candlemas on 2nd February was known as the festival of light in pre-Christian times. It marked the mid-point of winter, half way between the winter solstice (shortest day) and the spring equinox. One of the original Celtic names for this day was Imbolc – literally, ‘in the belly’ (of the Mother), a reference to the birth of lambs as a sign of the first [more…]