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Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Eclectic, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Eclectic

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    Nov 11, 2004
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    I just wanted to point out that Imbolc is not a Wiccan holiday (as is listed on the Sikh Philosophy Calendar). Wicca has only been around for about a half century and Imbolc has been around for centuries. However, many Wiccans would celebrate Imbolc (as many other Pagans do). One should not assume that Wicca represents Paganism, it does not. I'll make a seperate thread on what Wicca is and what Paganism is.

    Anyway, now I will introduce what Imbolc is. :)

    Imbolc is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats of Neopaganism. Originally it was a pagan Irish festival celebrated on 1 February (and the evening before). Today modern pagans either celebrate in on the 1st or 2nd, the 2nd being more popular in America, perhaps because of a confusion with Candlemas. In the southern hemisphere it is celebrated in August. The name, in the Irish language, means "in the belly" (i mbolg), referring to the pregnancy of ewes, and is also a Celtic term for spring. Another name is Oimelc, meaning "ewe's milk"; also Brigid, referring to the Celtic goddess of smithcraft, to whom the day is sacred.

    That Imbolc was an important time to the ancient inhabitants of Ireland can be seen at the Mound of the Hostages in Tara, Ireland. Here, the inner chamber is perfecty aligned with the rising sun of both Imbolc and Samhain.

    In the modern Irish Calendar, Imbolc is variously known as the Feast of St. Brigid (Secondary Patron of Ireland) and L� Feabhra - the first day of Spring.

    The holiday is a festival of light, reflecting the lengthening of the day and the hope of spring. It is traditional to light all the lamps of the house for a few minutes on Imbolc, and rituals often involve a great deal of candles.

    A few modern Pagans argue that the Christian feast of Candlemas was a christianization of the feast of Imbolc. However, there is no evidence that Imbolc was celebrated in pre-Christian times anywhere other than in Ireland (where the only written accounts of it appear), whereas the celebration of Candlemas began in the Mediterranean region.

    Imbolc is a Cross-quarter day. Among the sabbats, it is preceded by Yule and followed by Ostara.

    From Wikipedia.org
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