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The First Few Days of February

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The First Few Days of February

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The First Few Days of February

Falling halfway between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, the start of
February brings the return of sunshine and life to the Northern Hemisphere. 
There are lots of celebrations overlaying a wide range of non secular traditions. 

Imbolc, a Gaelic
phrase meaning “ewe’s milk” is a Celtic feast day that signifies the start
of spring. 

It has been extensively noticed by Gaels for hundreds of years and it begins on
the primary night of February, ending on the second.  Moreover, Feb 2 is Brigid’s feast.  In historical beliefs, Brigid is a goddess.  Later, there may be Saint Brigid, the founding father of the primary monastery in County Kildare
in Eire, b
orn in 450 AD of a pagan father and a Christian
mom.  Each the goddess and the saint
are related to the spring season, fertility, therapeutic,
poetry and blacksmithing. 
As  goddess of the fireside, the
goddess is equated to Greco-Roman Hestia-Vesta, and there may be an everlasting hearth
that burns in her honor. 
Holy wells have been visited,
spring cleansing begins, and hearth and lightweight are a part of the celebration.



Candlemas
is a Christian holy day commemorating the
presentation of Jesus on the Temple, ending Christmas celebrations 40 days
after Christmas.  Many fashionable of us take
down their vacation decorations on New Yr’s Day, others wait till the 12th
night time, and nonetheless others anticipate Candlemas. Additionally it is a time to take candles
to the church to be blessed, principally a symbolic act in lately of
electrical energy, however the candles of a complete 12 months have been blessed on Candlemas.

February 2 is Groundhog Day, and in
PA, that’s a reasonably large deal.   

After I was
little, I actually believed that the groundhog knew.  Maryanne’s husband’s birthday is Feb 1,
in any other case often called Groundhog Day eve. If the groundhog sees his shadow (sunny
day) he shall be frightened and return to sleep for six weeks.  If it’s cloudy, he stays out of the burrow
and winter is asserted over.
Additionally it is when the Gaelic Cailleach gathers firewood for the remainder of the winter.  If she is asleep, she doesn’t make the
climate brilliant and clear in order that she will be able to collect lots, so the hope is for
clouds.

 

In 2024, the Chinese language
Lunar New Yr is on February 10, and in China it’s celebrated via
February seventeenth, and ushers within the 12 months of the Wooden Dragon.   

The date is completely different annually, because it
coincides with the brand new moon.  There’s
a lot feasting with uncommon or exhausting to seek out delicacies, and households collect to
start the 12 months collectively.  Right here on the
hill, we discovered some moon truffles and have them ready within the freezer!

  I typically consider how completely satisfied individuals should have
been to see the sunshine returning!  I can
artificially mild my atmosphere, and am very glad of it. 
There are lots of, many conventional celebrations connected to all of lately, so
in case you’d like to start out a brand new household custom, maybe you’d like to decide on one
and analysis the historical past and pageant/feasts.

A craft that goes again centuries may be achieved along with the household, or as a
group of pals. Here’s a good tutorial: http://colorful-crafts.com/brigids-cross-tutorial/


In your feast…

In
late winter/early spring, out there meals is what has been saved over the winter.
To rejoice any of those feasts, strive to decide on dishes that work with
that.  Livestock are “freshening” by
giving delivery, renewing their milk provide. Dried fruit and flavorful nuts and
seeds can be found. Root cellars stored apples, onions, garlics, potatoes,
winter squash, and pumpkins, some cruciferous greens. A number of greens could possibly be
present in sheltered areas.

Seed
Cake

It is a conventional spicy pound cake that’s served with out icing.  Though caraway seeds are conventional,
fennel, sesame, pumpkin, poppy, coriander, sunflower, or others may be added or
substituted.

1 C butter
softened (2 sticks)
1 C granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 C flour
1 T caraway seeds
1/4 t floor nutmeg
1/4 t floor cinnamon
1/4 C brandy
4 t 10X sugar

Preheat the oven
to 300°.
Line a 9 x 12 pan with parchment, OR grease effectively.
In a big mixing bowl cream collectively the butter and sugar till mild and
fluffy.
Add eggs, one by one, scraping down sides of bowl with every egg.

In a second bowl,
mix dry elements.
Add half of the dry elements to the primary bowl, stirring effectively.
Add the brandy and mix.
Add the remaining dry elements, mixing simply till combined effectively.

Bake for 40 to 45
minutes or till a toothpick comes out clear.
When cool, sift the 10X sugar excessive.

Imbolc Incense

Make a unfastened
incense to rejoice the brand new spring and rising season that’s across the
nook.  Whereas mixing the elements,
give attention to what you’d prefer to see. 
Considerable gardens, completely satisfied household, prosperity – something in any respect, simply as
you would possibly on the new 12 months.

2
components Cedar
1 half Copal
1 half Basil
1 half Dragons Blood
½  half Lemon Peel
½ half Chamomile

You’ll be able to substitute something that represents hearth or renewal to you.  For example:
Calendula
frankincense
bay
violets
purple santal
myrrh…
You nearly can’t go flawed. 
To burn, place a pinch of the combination on a smoldering charcoal block.  Add extra when it stops smoking if desired.

If
any of those holidays are new to you, I urge you to study extra about them.  We are able to all use extra celebrations in our
lives, and there are many causes to have them!

Notice:  After the e-newsletter
went out, we heard from our pal Justin Ferko. 
Right here is one other celebration from the
Slavic world happening on the similar time: Gromnice, Our Woman of the Thunder
Candle/Our Woman of the Wolves:
https://lamusdworski.wordpress.com/2016/03/13/holy-mother-with-wolves/ 

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