How to Celebrate Imbolc, the Pagan / Gaelic Holiday
One of the most frustrating things to pagans is trying to figure what to do for holiday celebrations. After all , the traditional homemaker's magazines at the grocery checkout don't usually contain holiday entertaining ideas for traditional Sabbats or festivals. Pagans are notoriously flexible people, however, holding onto faith more than tradition, and religions based on growth rather than dogma leave a lot of room to create a meaningful situation that appeals to the person rather than a strict accepted tradition. With clear societal traditions being so popular at Yule, Samhain, and Ostara it's easy to plan a celebration for these days, but Imbolc is one of the more difficult seasonal holidays to get decorating and entertaining ideas for the family celebration.
To get a few ideas for the celebration of Imbolc, just look back in time at traditions and the symbology associated with the day. Imbolc is a celebration of fertility, the returning of spring and respite from the cold, dead of winter. The day itself celebrates the return of springtime and growth symbolized in the lactation and pregnancy of the livestock. It is a time for new beginnings and purification. In keeping with that theme consider making 'resolutions' to break old habits, or start new, healthy ones. Start on making a dream come true, share your desires with friends and family in a circle!
Being during the darkest part of the year Imbolc is traditionally a festival involving the lighting of fires and candles, so why not incorporate this into your celebration? while everyone may not have the option of going outdoors and lighting a large ritual bonfire there a multitude of options for creating the same ritual light through symbolic means. Candles, lanterns, even leftover novelty lights can be lit, strung displayed throughout the house to liven up your festivities. You could even light a symbolic roaring fire in the fireplace (also symbolic of Brigid) to snuggle up around and dream of the coming spring.
Imbolc is a holiday sacred to the Goddess Brigid. With that in mind, planning entertainment for this holiday celebration should be a snap! Music and poetry are sacred to the goddess Brigid, as she is the goddess of inspiration and patron goddess to poets. Plan your celebration around music appreciation, or even gather a few friends together for an impromptu jam session! What could be more pagan than a jam? If you are alone, or not musically talented make this a day to seek out inspiration, write some poetry, read some poetry or even begin a journal to keep track of all the blessings that will be coming to you in the next year!
As is the case with all pagan celebrations, it is not about HOW you choose to celebrate them, but how your choice of celebration furthers your relationship to the divine and affects your own spiritual growth. Follow your own tastes and inspiration in creating your celebration keeping in mind what makes you feel more connected to the holy.