Monday, 18 March 2019

Oestara Celebration Inspiration


It's almost time for Oestara (also known as Ostara and the Spring Equinox)! It's on Wednesday 20th March this year.

Note: For those in the Southern Hemisphere it will soon be Madron/Mabon aka the Autumn Equinox! You might like these posts:

 Madron/Autumn Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/09/madronautumn-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Madron/Autumn:  https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/celebrating-madron-autumn.html

In 2017 I did a post with ideas for celebrating Oestara and then last year I wrote one on celebrating both Oestara and spring in general. Read them at the links below:

 Oestara/Spring Equinox Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/03/oestaraspring-equinox-celebration-ideas.html

Celebrating Oestara + Spring: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/celebrating-oestara-spring.html


This year I thought I'd share some more ideas for celebrating and general inspiration for this time of year. :)


Monday, 4 March 2019

Preparing for Spring + Spring Inspiration

 

I'm looking forward to spring! While this winter hasn't seemed as long as last year's (at least not in Sussex since it hasn't been as cold and we didn't get much snow), I'm not a big fan of this season. I'm more of a summer person! The past few weeks the weather has been a bit weird- it was the warmest February on record on one day (up to about 16C (about 60F) in my area), then it returned to more typical temperatures and now we have Storm Freya. Today it's 8C (47F). The atmosphere feels "lighter" to me now. Since I get more depressed during the winter, I tend to feel better when the weather shifts and spring gets nearer.

As I've mentioned in last year's spring post, there are two starts to spring- meteorological and astronomical. The firt one is 1st March and the 2nd is 20th March, the same day as the Spring Equinox (also called Oestara/Ostara). Read more about it here: https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/spring-2019-when-start-first-day-date/


Note: If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, it's almost time for autumn. You may enjoy these posts:

Getting Ready for Autumn: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/09/getting-ready-for-autumn.html

Autumn Photos + Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/10/autumn-photos-inspiration.html


Last year I wrote a post about getting ready for spring which you can read here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/03/getting-ready-for-spring.html

This year I'm writing more about preparing for spring and also sharing some new season inspiration! :)

Monday, 25 February 2019

February Update

Time for the second update of the year! If you'd like to read Jan's update visit this link: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/january-update.html

In early February I celebrated Imbolg (also known as Imbolc). You can read about my celebration here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/02/imbolg-2019.html

I also did some baking. I made these spiced carrot muffins: https://growingupgabel.com/spiced-carrot-muffins/

They were quite nice. I used ginger and mixed spice in mine because that's what I had in. Think I also used some cinnamon but not nutmeg. Here's a pic:


Monday, 4 February 2019

Imbolg 2019

On Saturday (2nd February) it was Imbolg (also known as Imbolc). Some people celebrate it on 1st Feb (or from sundown on the 1st to sundown on the 2nd) but I usually have my main celebration on the 2nd.* As I mentioned in my Imbolg Inspiration post, I normally make pancakes (inspired by Kate West's The Real Witches' Kitchen) and I did that again this year. I used the same recipe as last year from BBC Good Food which uses vegetable oil in the batter. They are English pancakes, also called crepes. You can find the recipe here: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2907669/easy-pancakes

They didn't seem as nice as last year (think I could have cooked them a bit better) but never mind! I still liked them. :) Here's a pic of the first one:


Sunday, 3 February 2019

January Update

In my Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake + New Year Gingerbread post, I mentioned that I was thinking of doing a monthly post on here, a round-up of the month. So here's the first one for January! :)

Note: I started this during January but have finished it today. :)


January is a bit of a hard month for me because all the excitement of Christmas is over and the weather is dreary and cold! I get more depressed at this time of year, I think I have SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). If you do too you might find this link helpful:

https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/15-tips-combat-seasonal-affective-disorder/

 I take a while to adjust to the new year and last year I didn't feel really settled in till about May! It helps when the weather gets warmer. At the end of January it went colder and we've had some snow, although not much in Sussex so far. It does make a change when we get snow though, since we don't get it that often in my area.

In early January I went to the beach and took some pictures. It was a beautiful sunset that evening. Here are a couple of the photos:

Sunset on Shoreham Beach.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Imbolg Inspiration

 

It's almost time for Imbolg (more commonly called Imbolc and also known as February Eve), the 1st sabbat of the new calendar year, and the 2nd/3rd on the Wheel of the Year. As I mentioned in my Celebrating Yule/Christmas post, some people think of the year as beginning and ending at Samhain (Hallowe'en), so they consider Samhain as the New Year, while others count Yule as New Year.


Note: for those in the Southern Hemipshere it's Lammas time! Check out these posts for celebration ideas:

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/07/lammas-celebration-ideas.html

https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/07/celebrating-lammas.html


Imbolg is celebrated on 2nd February  (Saturday this year), or from the night of 1st Feb to the night of the 2nd (sundown to sundown). Or some people would celebrate from 31st January to 1st February, which is why it's also called February Eve. If you go by the scientific time, Marietta of Witchy Words mentions it's at 9.01pm CST on 3rd February,  and 3.01am in the UK (making it Sunday). I believe the energy of it is active around that time anyway, so you could celebrate at the time that feel best to you. :)

Imbolg is also known as Candlemas, although that is more of a Christian festival based on the pagan ones. It's the first spring festival and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. it's also a fire festival and the feast of Bride or Brigid (pronounced something like "Breed") the Irish Fire Goddess, who became Christianised as Saint Brigid. The Irish Gaelic word "Imbolc" or "Imbolg" is thought to translate as "in the belly" meaning the ewes who are pregnant at this time of year. There is another word "Oimelc" which is said to mean "ewe's milk". Imbolg is a cross-quarter day, meaning that it's in between a solstice and equinox. It's between Yule aka the Winter Solstice and Oestara/Ostara aka the Spring Equinox in March.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Christmas Vanilla Roll Cake + New Year Gingerbread

This Christmas (or rather Christmas 2018 now since we're in a new year!) I baked a Christmas vanilla roll cake, which I first made in 2013. The recipe is from a trEATS affair (formerly Roxana's Home Baking). You can find the recipe here: http://atreatsaffair.com/christmas-vanilla-roll-cake-recipe/

You roll it up like with a  chocolate Yule log or Swiss roll. (Roll cake is just another name for Swiss roll, really). I don't think the cake itself came out as nice this time, but never mind! The buttercream was nice. This time I used multicoloured sprinkles. And I ate it with Nestle Carnation topping (evaporated milk) again because it can be a bit dry. I made the roll on Christmas Eve and the topping on Christmas Day. Here's a pic: