Reply To: Imbolc Celebrations

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


    Britain switched from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in September 1752, centuries after the rest of Europe had made the change. This meant that 11 days were dropped out from the calendar to bring us back in line with our European neighbours. There were riots in the streets. As a result, some people still celebrate May Day ‘old style’ on May 11th/12th. Midsummer, Midwinter and the two equinoxes are still set by reference to the position of the Sun and the quarter days fit roughly halfway between them. Roughly because, for a variety of reasons, we ended up with months of varying length and February having an extra day every four years. To avoid too much complication, the quarter days ended up being celebrated on the first days of their respective months, although each celebration properly begins on the night before, so the celebration of Calan Mai begins on the night of April 30th and runs through May Day. Nos Galan Gaeaf is called the ‘Night of Winter Calends’ because most of its celebration focuses on the night of October 31st rather than November 1st, night being more appropriate for celebrating the onset of winter.
    As for celebration this year, I’ve spent the last two years mostly locked down, so I’ll be celebrating Gwyl Forwyn by going across the road to the woods where there’s a grassy bank that’s usually covered in hundreds of Snowdrops at the beginning of February, a wonderful sign of life returning to the Earth after the winter months. When night falls, I’ll light candles and share a celebratory meal with my son and daughter, perhaps raising a glass of mead to toast the return of the Maiden.
    Many blessings,
    Greywolf /|\