Imbolc - A Working Festival
Imbolc , a Gaelic festival marks one of the cross quarter days of the year. Quarter days fall on the summer- winter solstices and the spring –fall equinoxes; whereas the cross quarter days fall halfway in the middle of the quarter days (February 1 or 2). Imbolc is also known as Saint Brigid’s day, named after Brigid the goddess of fire, fertility and midwifery. Later it was referred to as Candlemas Day which celebrated Mary and Joseph’s presentation of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem. Candlemas even became a predictor of the weather to come …' If Candlemas day is clear and bright winter will have another bite. If Candlemas day brings cloud and rain winter is gone and will not come again.' I have to wonder if Groundhog’s Day was originated with the knowledge of Candlemas.
Imbolc is a celebration of the light returning, the return of spring and thinking about gardens. Here in VT it is too early to start seedlings, however it’s not too early to fix and sharpen tools that are going to be needed. It is important to refurbish old tools that still have years of life in them and to gather with friends in celebration and the sharing of food. The pictures were taken at two different celebrations; the first, 2015, was rather cold with plenty of snow while the second year, 2016, there was little snow.
Drew, using a hand turned grindstone, sharpens a chisel.
Drew turns the wheel as Louise sharpens her clippers.
Dave, Kate, and Fran discussing the best way to sharpen a hatchet. David and Fury on the grinding wheel.
Fran and Kate Louise and Wolfgang
Louise is getting an axe ready for a new handle. Mary and Larry are working on the loppers.
Joe sharpening a grass cutter.
David getting the Biochar burner ready for lighting.
The Imbolc celebration often involves fire to encourage the light to come back, so we light the biochar in preparation for soil amendment.
Larry and Gary discussing the day.
David eyeing the handle of an axe.
David and David capping the bio-char burner.
Drew and Bryan working and visiting.
It won’t take long before Emmett is working on his tools.