is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. Most commonly it is held on 1 February, or about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
It is believed that it was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid and that it was christianised as a festival of Saint Brigid (Lá Fhéile Bríde).
The etymology of Imbolc/Imbolg is unclear. The most common explanation is that is comes from the Old Irish i mbolc (Modern Irish i mbolg), meaning "in the belly", and refers to the pregnancy of ewes. Another possible origin is the Old Irish imb-fholc, "to wash/cleanse oneself", referring to a ritual cleansing.(thanks to Wikipedia)
We cut a few hazel branches for the kitchen window, no frost, the birds are busy. We are neither pagans nor catholics, never overly fond of Oirish rituals, but this is the best day of the year. The most hopeful day of the year. By the weekend, rows of little seed pots will line the sitting room windows. We will start with the peppers.