Celtic Imbolc 2023…You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down!

Imbolc is the celebration of the first day of Spring in the Celtic Calendar…(see the calendar in my bookstore link at the top of the page).

The celebration begins on the evening before with a fire…this is a fire festival!

All ancient Celtic Festivals begin at sunset on the evening before.

Feast and fire go together.

Bread is an important part of the feast on Imbolc.

Homemade Soda Bread is a particular favourite here in Ireland!

The west of Ireland enjoys milder weather and the warming of the Atlantic ocean, so many plants are early to grow and lambs are born earlier too.

Imbolc means “in the belly” and “first milk”referring to new life and mother’s milk which sustains new life.

Imbolc is also the celebration of Brigid, ancient Goddess and once Christian Saint…though no longer recognised as a saint by the RC Church. (Her name was removed along with other saints including St Christopher, by the Vatican some years ago). As Brigid was one of ninety-three saints removed from the universal calendar in 1969 she also had her feast day officially revoked. So, technically, 1 February is no longer St. Brigid’s Day.  But She remains our Brigid, Goddess and great Abbess!

https://www.independent.ie › Opinion › Comment

…That’s when her name was formally expunged from the list of saints by the Vatican. That meant she also had her feast day officially revoked too.

However, our Irish government has declared Brigid should be honoured with an annual holiday, a bank holiday, on the first Monday in February!

As the saying goes, “you can’t keep a good woman down!”


  1. Brigid is well out of that club, and I just kinda had this quote come to mind: “I refuse to join any club that would have me…” – Groucho Marx.

  2. The Church might have thrown her out (St Barbara, too), but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care, having been co-opted in the first place without permission, but perhaps with some amusement, she has played her part as the godmother of Christ among other roles. Surely she is part and parcel of the triquetra, as Alastair McIntosh says in “Soul and Soul”: maiden, mother, crone; life, death, rebirth; St Patrick, St Columba and Bhrighde…”?

  3. Hello Collete, I run a community group called the Helpful Heathens and we have a blogpost going up today in regards to Imbolc and I was wondering if I could get your permission to promote your wonderful books on the blog, as I find your work such an inspiration in what we are doing here. I will of course post links to your bookstore here on your site but thought it best to seek permission before doing so.
    Hope you are keeping well, and keep up the amazing work.

  4. I didn’t know the catholic church erased her. But I can’t say I am surprised… Thankfully the Goddess is still going strong. Happy Imbolc, dear Colette.

  5. Happy Imbolc ! Beautiful photos …Good for Ireland keeping Brigid’s day as a celebration, and good for you too!

  6. Thank you, Colette! I wasn’t aware of the “Church’s” expungement. But so glad that Ireland continues to revere Brighid!! She is my ‘go to’ Goddess! We have an arctic blast here in US, and spring is still so far away; thus I so enjoy your spring, as it gives me hope!

  7. Thank you for sharing the history of the celebration of Imbolc and Brigid. I had no clue. Will delve into this deeper. Enjoy!!

  8. Oh good! I’ve made a loaf today and will enjoy it by the inside fire as it’s been snowing all day.🇨🇦 Your photos are lovely! No indeed, a good woman can’t – and shouldn’t- be kept down! Blessings.

  9. Thank you! I did not know that the RC church organization threw her out! What a blessing! I will now feel 100% welcoming of her place as the goddess for this celebration.

  10. So sorry to hear that Brigid has been expunged from the saints’ list!! But happy to know she is honored with a national holiday!! Thank you for informing me about Imbolc, Brigid and other Celtic celebrations! I will light some candles tonight to mark Brigid’s eve (and my birthday eve)!

  11. Thank you Colette! Great info and beautiful photos! So wonderful that Ireland, and all over the world, continue to honor her! Spring is coming up here in central coast California too. Saw my first daffodils yesterday! Happy Imbolc from mom (Rina) and me! Xx

  12. Hello Colette🙏Lovely photos , we have strong winds here tonight so no fire burning lots of candle celebrations indoors. Hugs to you. 💚🌹

  13. “Irish government has declared Brigid should be honoured with an annual holiday, a bank holiday, on the first Monday in February!”
    Happy for you all to finally start seeing governments recognizing aspects or goddess!

  14. Colette, Thanks for the nice blog today which served as a reminder for me to order your calendar, which I just did.
    Cheers and stay well.

Your comments are welcome!