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How to Make a Brigid Doll and Cross for Imbolc

Imbolc is the first Fire Festival of the Celtic wheel of the year and is celebrated from the evening of 31st January until sunset on 2nd February.

Midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox it celebrates the home and the hearth and involves feasting, and celebrating with family.

The festival celebrates the arrival of Spring, the lengthening days, and increasing light.

Catkins are lengthening on Hazels and Alders, or bursting open their fluff on Willows, and new buds are starting to open, for example, on Hawthorns and Roses, at this time, showing that new life is stirring from the winter sleep.

The spiritual meaning of Imbolc is about transformations, purification, new beginnings, shedding anything that no longer serves us, and the returning light of the lengthening days. It is a time for setting new goals and intentions.

The solar Goddess Brigid features in the celebrations of Imbolc. She is one of the most powerful Celtic gods and was said to be born with a flame, or rays of sunlight, on her head. She is connected with Spring and chasing away Winter. She is sometimes referred to as the Goddess of illumination, fire, renewal and creativity.

Brigid is honoured in a variety of ways at Imbolc, to encourage her to come into the home to bring blessings, protection, good fortune and abundance to those who dwell there and their kin,

Woman's hands displaying a Brigid Cross made from Cordyline Leaves, ready for the Festival of Imbolc
Brigid Cross made from Cordyline Leaves

Shortly before Imbolc, or on 31st January or 1st February a Brigid Cross is made. This is traditionally woven from reeds, but can be woven from any natural materials available.

If fashioned before 31st January evening, this may be hung outside the home, perhaps along with clothes for Brigid to wear, or to bless, and food for her to eat. On 1st February it is brought inside the home and hung there during the rest of the year.

Woman with long blond hair worn loose, wearing a blue top, standing beside a willow basket on a windowsill. She is holding a Brigid Doll made from long grasses, with seed heads for the doll's head, skirt and hands. The Brigid Doll is ready for the Fire Festival of Imbolc
Brigid Doll made from grasses

On the eve of Imbolc a Brigid Doll may be fashioned and perhaps paraded from house to house by girls. The doll would then be laid in a bed inside the home to encourage Brigid to visit.


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