Happy St. Brigid's | Candlemas | Imbolc | Groundhog Day
February 1, 2006 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Celebrate the most underappreciated holiday of the year! February 1st is St. Brigid's Day or Imbolc or Candlemas. St. Brigid of Ireland, the woman who some make a good case that she should be the Patron Saint of Ireland before Patrick. Others say she was the pre-Christian fertility or fire goddess of the Celts and that the Catholic Church co-opted her day as they did with many pagan pre-Christian holidays. Whether one celebrates Candlemas as a Catholic holy day or as a one of the Pagan cross-quarter days, it is also the Festival of Lights. Regardless, I have loved February 1st and 2nd since college as Groundhog Day is the most whimsical holiday of the year, thankfully it does not have a 2 month retail buying season building up to it. Tomorrow, I shall take a photo to Puxsutawney Phil to St. Brigid's Well in Kildare to celebrate properly.
posted by msjen (11 comments total)
If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be shower and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.

posted by caddis at 2:46 PM on February 1, 2006

I'm in central PA, only a couple hours away from Punxsy, and I've been meaning to make the trip to Gobbler's Knob to see Phil. People I know who are from this area say that Groundhog Day in Punxsy is a lot of fun, but unfortunately I have to work. Luckily, the local TV stations is having a couple hours of Phil coverage starting tomorrow at 5AM.

I heard that there is going to be a Terrible Towel wave as part of the festivities this year since the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the Super Bowl.
posted by Fat Guy at 2:56 PM on February 1, 2006

Metafilter: Because Pagans are the new Black.

Happy Imbolc! Blessed Be.
posted by Uccellina at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2006

All the lights in my apartment are on (the ones that work, that is. The ones in the bathroom don't, so I shall light some candles for a Neolithic hair-washing ritual.)

And today was cloudy in London, so I'm hoping for an early spring. Though I'd settle for any spring at all, really. Hurrah!
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:29 PM on February 1, 2006

Now you've done it. You called attention to Groundhog Day! I expect Hallmark cards, special chip dip recipes and rhinestone studded trowels to be on the market right after Christmas.
Not to mention $5.00 Tshirts selling for $19.95 with a picture of Phil.
posted by Cranberry at 4:40 PM on February 1, 2006

"The Giveaway" (from The Love Leters of Phyllis McGinley, )

Saint Bridget was
A problem child.
Although a lass
Demure and mild,
And one who strove
To please her dad,
Saint Bridget drove
The family mad.
For here's the fault in Bridget lay:
She would give everything away.

To any soul
Whose luck was out
She'd give her bowl
Of stirabout;
She'd give her shawl,
Divide her purse
With one or all.
And what was worse,
When she ran out of things to give
She'd borrow from a relative.

Her father's gold,
Her grandsire's dinner,
She'd hand to cold
and hungry sinner;
Give wine, give meat,
No matter whose;
Take from her feet
The very shoes,
And when her shoes had gone to others,
Fetch forth her sister's and her mother's.

She could not quit.
She had to share;
Gave bit by bit
The silverware,
The barnyard geese,
The parlor rug,
Her little
niece's christening mug,
Even her bed to those in want,
And then the mattress of her aunt.

An easy touch
For poor and lowly,
She gave so much
And grew so holy
That when she died
Of years and fame,
The countryside
Put on her name,
And still the Isles of Erin fidget
With generous girls named Bride or Bridget.

Well, one must love her.
In thinking of her
There's no denial
She must have been
A sort of trial
Unto her kin.
The moral, too, seems rather quaint.
Who had the patience of a saint,
From evidence presented here?
Saint Bridget? Or her near and dear?
posted by IndigoJones at 6:17 PM on February 1, 2006

My wife is a Brigid, and she celebrates St. Brigid's Day each year. What a pleasant surprise to find this post.

Well done.
posted by AgentRocket at 7:08 PM on February 1, 2006

Beltane looks like more fun.
posted by homunculus at 10:15 PM on February 1, 2006

Isn't St. Bridget famous for turning her bathwater into beer so that thirsty clerics could get pissed?

That's *my* idea of a saint!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:09 AM on February 2, 2006

It's good to see a local girl make it onto MeFi.

It's hard to find a house in this part of the world that doesn't have one of these.
posted by hippyboy at 3:06 AM on February 2, 2006

Bathwater to beer? I dig - fertility godesses.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:38 AM on February 2, 2006

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