Imbolc (or Imolg) is a festival of returning light and the beginning of Spring, celebrated on or around 1st February. It’s one of the four Celtic lunar calendar festivals (Samhuinn, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh) that are dear to Beltane Fire Society hearts.
While we don’t mark Imbolc with big public events like we do Beltane and Samhuinn, many of our members mark it each year in their own ways – and will have yesterday. In the past Beltane Fire Society has marked it with smaller community events around the beginning of February too. So this year, as part of our thinkings on how we can celebrate the year of our thirtieth Beltane, we decided to revive that tradition.
For the wider Edinburgh community, we are holding an event tonight (now fully booked!) at the Storytelling Centre: ‘Weaving Imbolc: willow and words’. Some of our volunteers will be telling stories of the turning seasons and teaching how to make lanterns and decorations from willow, so they can be used to decorate Calton Hill for our Beltane festival in April. If you missed the chance to book a spot on this Imbolc event but want to learn more, we like the look of this other event at the Storytelling Centre, which we aren’t involved in but covers similar themes and stories.
For people who are already members of the Beltane Fire Society, we’re holding a low-key Imbolc pot luck feast and club night this weekend too – details have been circulated, but email us if you’re a member and haven’t heard about it!
Lastly, as Imbolc takes us a step closer to the beginning of Summer, we decided to make 1 February the date we opened ticket bookings for our big event of the year: the 2017 Beltane Fire Festival. So if you feel the first stirrings of Spring and want to join us on 30 April to celebrate the coming Summer, now’s a great time to get your ticket.
However you are celebrating, firey love and hugs from all of us at the Beltane Fire Society!
Photo by Sara Ferreira
Featured image by Jasper Schwartz for Beltane Fire Society