Reply To: Imbolc Celebrations

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Imbolc Celebrations Reply To: Imbolc Celebrations


    Imbolc is supposed to be the Celebration of the Time of Year that falls between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox.

    I’m not sure about that. The ancient Gaelic calendar(s) didn’t ascribe much, if any, importance to solstices or equinoxes – these seem to have been more important in Germanic, not Celtic, traditions. Imbolc is the beginning of the spring, when the snowdrops and the first signs of life begin to re-appear after the winter months. There’s also some evidence that these ancient months and festivals may have been a lot more fluid in the past, with people relying more on signs from nature rather than fixed dates to determine the “calendar”.

    So I got out a Calculator and divided 365 by 8 and got 45. So if you count the days from Winter Solstice 45 Days, they the date that falls between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox is Feb 5th.

    By old calendar reckoning, i.e. the Julian, the day would actually (now) be the 12th of February, so care should be taken with all of these so-called fixed dates and festivals, for example, Samhain may have been earlier. Apart from that, the trouble is that the solar year is actually 365 days, 5 h, 48 min. and 45.19 sec. long, and it varies slightly, too. In any case, it doesn’t divide nicely and evenly by eight or four! 😀

    I also know of some who prefer to use the lunar calendar, using the first, next or nearest new/full moon to the dates in question in order to mark the festivals, but that is not without some difficulties either.

    Calendars are a bit of a headache. 😀