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Video/Audio: ‘Imbolc/Vision’ a film poem by Grace Wells

Imbolc/Vision’ To celebrate Imbolc and Brigit’s Day 1st February, this is an eco-poetry film commissioned by The Source Arts Centre, Thurles.

Inspired by the work of Brigit scholar Mary Condren, it explores the themes of Imbolc and Brigit, Goddess of the Spring.

The film was supported by The Source Arts Centre, Thurles, Ireland Project supported by Tipperary County Council and The Arts Council.

Poem composed and performed by Grace Wells

Song: sad piano

Artist: Eliansproductions

Running time: 7 minutes

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

Imbolc or Imbolg (also called Saint Brigid’s Day) marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s matron saint. It is held on 1 February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Historically, its traditions were widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with: Bealtaine, Lughnasadh and Samhain.

Imbolc is mentioned in early Irish literature, and there is evidence suggesting it was also an important date in ancient times. It is believed that Imbolc was originally a pagan festival associated with the goddess Brigid, and that it was Christianized as the feast day of Saint Brigid. The festivities on the feast of Saint Brigid did not begin to be recorded in detail until the early modern era. In recent centuries it was marked by the making of Brigid’s crosses and a doll-like figure of Brigid (a Brídeóg) would be paraded from house-to-house by girls, sometimes accompanied by ‘strawboys’. Brigid was said to visit one’s home on the eve of the festival. To receive her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was also evoked to protect homes and livestock. Special feasts were had, holy wells were visited, and it was a time for divination.

Although many of its customs died out in the 20th century, it is still observed by Christians as a religious holiday and by some non-Christians as a cultural one, and its customs have been revived in some places. Since the latter 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Imbolc as a religious holiday.

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