Sunday, 26 January 2020
More Imbolg Inspiration
Imbolg (the first sabbat of the new calendar year since either Samhain or Yule are generally considered the start of the cycle on the Wheel of the Year) is coming up on 2nd February (Sunday this year). It's more commonly known as Imbolc and also called Candlemas (although that is a Christian festival as well) and February Eve. Last year I did a post called Imbolg Inspiration which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/01/imbolg-inspiration.html
Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere it's almost time for Lammas! Check out these posts:
I've done a full year of inspiration posts for the sabbats now and I've also written another post called Imbolg Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/01/imbolg-celebration-ideas.html
So rather than repeat what I've written, I'm going to share some new links to inspiration for celebrating, as well as what I'm going to do this year. :)
Imbolg is celebrated on 2nd February or from sundown on the 1st to sundown on the 2nd (depending on your tradition/how you like to celebrate). Other people may celebrate from 31st Jan to 1st Feb (hence the name February Eve) but the scientific date varies. It is the first spring festival on the Wheel of the Year, although we are still in winter it marks the beginning of things shifting towards spring. This time of year is the midway point between Yule/the Winter Solstice and Oestara/the Spring Equinox, making it a cross-quarter day. I found an interesting post about how it's a new year until Imbolc. Check it out here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/thezenpagan/2019/12/its-a-new-year-until-imbolc/
Now here's some more info about Imbolg:
https://www.witchywords.com/2020/01/february-eve-imbolc-february-4th-2020.html (Now a private blog).
Last year I wrote about Groundhog Day which is also celebrated on 2nd February in North America.
These are my previous Imbolg posts on the blog:
Imbolg 2014: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/02/imbolg.html
Imbolg Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/01/imbolg-celebration-ideas.html
Imbolg 2018: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/02/imbolg-2018.html
Imbolg Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/01/imbolg-inspiration.html
Imbolg 2019: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/imbolg-2019.html
And now here are some posts with celebration ideas:
I like what Siobhan says about Imbolc being a time to shake off the sadness (last link). We're moving out of the darkness and into the light as spring gets nearer, and since Imbolg is a fire festival, it's a good time to light a candle or have a bonfire (but be careful and follow fire safety laws!). :)
I normally make pancakes for Imbolg (inspired by The Real Witches' Kitchen book by Kate West), not sure what type this year yet (English pancakes/crepes or American style). Pancake Day is also in February too (this year it's 25th Feb), so this is "pancake season" for me! lol. I don't tend to make them much at other times of the year. My favourite recipe in recent years is this one from BBC Good Food (perhaps the vegetable oil in the batter makes it taste nicer!): https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/easy-pancakes
Interestingly I just read that they eat crepes for French Candlemas (la Chandeleur) on 2nd February. If you'd like to make some pancakes check out these recipes:
American pancakes (recipe I used for Imbolg 2014): https://www.inspiredtaste.net/24593/essential-pancake-recipe/
My family pancake recipe: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2015/02/pancake-day.html
Recipe for Crepes de la Chandeleur (also includes some info about Candlemas/Imbolc): https://www.lavenderandlovage.com/2013/02/recipe-crepes-de-la-chandeleur-candlemas-pancakes-for-candlemas-day.html
I like to have some kind of lemonade with the pancakes (ordinary, cloudy, rose etc.) since lemonade and sparkling spring water fit the theme of the freshness of almost spring.
You also may like to bake. I often bake for sabbats but not always for Imbolg. In 2018 I made soda bread using a recipe from Soraya's The Kitchen Witch book. Here's some baking inspiration:
Includes links to soda bread recipes (I couldn't post Soraya's recipe online due to copyright):
Includes a recipe based on Soraya's one for spicy loaf cake: https://thewillowweb.com/2016/01/27/5-small-ways-to-celebrate-imbolc/
Imbolc White Magic creme brulee from Moody Moons: https://moodymoons.com/2020/01/26/imbolc-white-magic-creme-brulee/
Poppyseed cake recipe I shared in last year's post: https://greenquakers.wordpress.com/tag/poppyseed-cake/
I've decided to bake some poppyseed lemon cupcakes this year. The recipe is a Ruth Langsford one from Closer magazine which I've had saved for a while.
I sometimes make hot milk too, a recipe based on The Kitchen Witch one I make for Yule.
I will also light a white candle to celebrate the light increasing. At Yule we saw the light returning and now it increases as the days continue to get longer. Imbolg isn't one of the most "exciting" sabbbats for me, like Samhain or Lammas, but I do like it because I feel the shift towards spring. If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and are particularly affected during winter (some people may find other seasons affect them more), you may find yourself feeling a bit better during this time. You can find some links for coping with SAD in the posts below:
More Winter Inspiration + Winter Tag: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/12/more-winter-inspiration-winter-tag.html
Christmas Gingerbread Sheet Cake + December Update (under the Dec section): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/01/christmas-gingerbread-sheet-cake.html
In past years I've been to the beach around Imbolg and if the weather's not too bad where you are, you may enjoy getting out in the fresh air for a bit. It's not as easy for me to get to the beach due to family car problems, but I do plan to go soon and take some sunset pics.
Some years I've seen daffodils come out in January, although they tend to come out more about late Feb/early March. In the photo at the top of the post you can see the stems but the daffodils aren't up yet. So I feel spring coming but we're still in winter. I'm looking forward to spring though!
Hope you liked the post. Happy Imbolg! (Or Lammas!). :)
Photo: Moonsparkle 2020.