February/Feabhra

December 13, 2009

February/Feabhra

Feast of Saint Brigid (Ireland) Celebrates the life of Ireland’s Saint Brigid who was known for her generosity, hospitality and her love of art.

Candlemas Day – Imbolic Festival – most commonly held on 2 February is one of four main festivals celebrated by Celts. It is now a Scottish legal “quarter day” when rents and other payments fall due.

A Celtic Fire Festival celebrating the start of lambing season believed by some to have began as a Roman festival to celebrate the return of spring.

In Scotland the festival is also known as La Fheill Brighde, in Ireland La Fheile Bride and in Wales Gwyl Fair.

February 2 is the date halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

There is an old traditional poem which said that

“If Candlemas Day be bright and fair
Half the winter is to come and mair
If Candlemas Day be dark and foul
Half the winter was over at Yowl (Christmas)

St Valentine’s Day – 14th February used to be an excuse for youngsters to go round begging for sweets, fruit or money. Older siblings tried to find a sweetheart. “Name-papers” were sometimes used where names were written and placed in a bonnet and each person drew out a paper. If the same name was drawn three times, it meant a marriage would take place!

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