Imbolc

(redirected from Imbolg)
Also found in: Encyclopedia.

Im·bolc

 (ĭm′bōlg′)
n.
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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Imbolc

(ˈɪmbəlk; ˈɪmbəʊlk; ˈɪmməlk) or

Imbolg

n
(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]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The festival is meant to mark the beginning of spring and is observed around the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, just as the coldest and darkest time of the year comes to an end in the Northern Hemisphere. It is also known as Imbolg, or Brighid's day, after the Celtic goddess.
Brigid's feast day is on what has been traditionally recognized by the Irish as the first day of spring, and in the pre-Christian era it was the feast of Imbolg, a goddess who heralded the arrival of spring.
The ancient Celtic festival of Imbolg was celebrated when local sheep started to lactate.
This is a very powerful time of year as the Nature Festival of Imbolg (Candlemas) is celebrated on Thursday, February 2, the day dedicated to Brigid, the Celtic Goddess of healing, fire, inspiration, childbirth, poetry, arts and crafts.