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An ancient Celtic feast, usually held on February 1, marked by acts of divination and rites of purification.

[Old Irish : imm, imb-, about, mutually; see ambhi in Indo-European roots + perhaps bolg, bag, sack (a bag symbolizing plenty perhaps having played a role in the festival); see bhelgh- in Indo-European roots.]


(ˈɪmbəlk; ˈɪmbəʊlk; ˈɪmməlk) or


(Other Non-Christian Religions) an ancient Celtic festival associated with the goddess Brigit, held on Feb 1 or 2 to mark the beginning of spring. It is also celebrated by modern pagans
[C15: from Old Irish oimelc ewe's milk]
References in periodicals archive ?
Flames and torches will turn the sky a glowing red in Marsden on February 6 when the Imbolc celebration takes place.
A walk through the gardens takes you through the Celtic cycle of the seasons with each representing one of the festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasa.
The ancient Celts celebrated spring at Imbolc, a festival for the goddess Brighid.
Spring forward THIS weekend celebrates Imbolc, Candlemas or Brigid's Day and traditionally welcomes the first signs of spring.
Celebrate the ancient festival of Imbolc and the first stirrings of spring.
By the Celtic way of reckoning, the early February cross-quarter day, Imbolc, marks the beginning of spring.
These include Imbolc - otherwise known as the festival of the lactating sheep - when pagans build piles of stones (so that's why lags break rocks in the local quarry) and the Summer Solstice, where pagans dance naked and drink mead.
Hence the Chinese New Year, the Christian Candlemas, pagan Imbolc and so on.
It was known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in) and was one of four great Celtic festivals, which also included Imbolc (February 1) Beltane (May 1) and Lughnasadh (August 1).
The holidays most widely celebrated by Pagans are the summer and winter solstices, the spring and autumn equinoxes, and four holidays of Celtic origin that fall in between: Samhain (pronounced SOW-in) (October 31), Imbolc (February 2), Beltane (May 1), and Lammas or Lughnasadh (usually pronounced LOO-nah-sah) (August 2).
21, the longest night of the year when the rebirth of the sun is celebrated; Imbolc, which honors a Celtic goddess, is held in February; Ostara (from where the word ``Easter'' derives) celebrates a Germanic goddess and the spring equinox; Beltane is the layman's Mayday, when crops are planted and the end of winter is celebrated; Litha is observed June 21, the longest day in the year; and Lughnasa commemorates the first harvest with a grain festival where athletic competitions often are held.
IMBOLG or Imbolc, celebrated on Wednesday, February 2, is also known as Oimelc, means "ewe's milk" and refers to the pregnant sheep coming into milk at this time of year.