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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.]
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.


(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]
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 ?
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.
They meet semi-monthly at the new and full moons for regular meetings called "esbats." There are eight major solar festivals, "sabbats," beginning with Samhain or Halloween (October 31) and continuing with Yule (December 21), Oimelc or Candlemas (February 2), Spring Equinox (March 21), Beltane (April 30), Summer Solstice (June 21), Lammas (August 1), and Fall Equinox (September 21).