Category Archives: Wheel of the Year

Imbolc: Celebrating the First Stirrings of Spring


Imbolc, also known as Brigid’s Day, is a traditional Gaelic festival marking the beginning of spring. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. The festival occurs on February 1st, approximately halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

Beltane: Dance of the Fire and Flowers

Beltane was the summer festival of the Celtic people in celebration of the returning fertility of the Earth. Many of the festivals and rituals revolved around blessing and protecting livestock or crops. The Aos sí were thought to be particularly active at this time and people would often leave offering for them. Extensive historical records have been found for the celebration of Beltane in both Ireland and Scotland.

Yule: Beckoning the Rebirth of the Sun

Yule: Wheel of the Year

Yule has roots in many European traditions making it difficult to determine which traditions stem from what specific regions. Germanic peoples made sacrifices and burned Yule logs. Druids venerated Evergreens as a symbol of life triumphing over death. Romans held a festival called Saturnalia in which they made sacrifices to the God of Saturn in the name of a coming golden age. 

Samhain: A Guiding Light in the Darkest Nights

Predominantly celebrated by the Gaels, the geographical distribution of Samhain encompassed regions extending from southern Ireland to Northern Scotland, including the Isle of Mann. Within the Gaelic and broader Celtic cultures, Samhain marked the conclusion of the harvest period, a critical time with festivities, stocktaking, and slaughter of cattle for winter provisions.

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