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"Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which
celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct  us to
live in harmony with the rhythms of nature."

The Sixth Source of Affirmation
of the Unitarian Universalist Association

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Held around end of January to February 1-3

Also known as Imbolc, Oimelc, Candlemas (Christian), Setsubun (Japan), Lunar New Year (China), 

Often we think of Midwinter to describe the December holidays but that is when winter technically starts. Mid-Winter is a time when we begin to notice “life returning” to the earth. This time of year is associated with the lambing season, a time when mammals are waking up from hibernation, and birds start migrating back to the northern hemisphere. The time of year represents the renewing of life we see beginning to peek through the snows and the sounds of the earth’s creatures beginning to stir. It is a time to sort seeds for planting for some.

A festival marking the time between winter and the beginning of Spring is known as Imbolc or Saint Brigid’s Day. Christians proclaim the day as a feast day for Saint Brigid. She is Ireland’s patroness saint. February  1 is the official day of celebration. Historians suggest that Imbolc has significance dating back to the Neolithic period. “Imbolc” means “in the belly of the Mother”, and the awakening of the earth as spring approaches.

In our secular culture we have days such as Groundhog Day, Hedgehog Day, In Germany a badger is used to predict the weather. Interestingly, it is when humans start wondering if spring is going to come early or will winter have an extended stay. 

As with other celebrations, there are many names of traditions and holidays celebrated that are similar in meaning from around the world. Below are some resources on how to celebrate Midwinter. Here is a list of some resources to learn more about holidays this time of year. Enjoy!

Groundhog Day: Ancient Origins of a Modern Celebration

The Origins and Practices of Holidays: Imbolc, Setsubun, Lunar New Year


Complete Guide to Imbolc: Blessings, Traditions & History

Cailleach: The Celtic Goddess of Winter

10 Magical Meals & Drinks for Bridgid's Day

Simple Ways to Celebrate Imbolc

Imbolc - Symbols and Symbolism

50 Traditional Foods and Recipes to Enjoy on Imbolc

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