Pronounced im-ulk (at least that’s how it’s pronounced here), this is the day that we celebrate the sun’s strengthening and the coming of spring. It comes between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. We celebrate this day with many sun or light themed traditions like, making beeswax candles, making a “sun” soup with braided herb bread for supper, bonfire… I took many pictures. You may want to click on any to make them bigger or see more.
There couldn’t have been a better day to honour this time of year. I woke to a bright blue sky day, which we haven’t actually had for many weeks (months?). Anyone following my photos on flickr would have probably noticed I’ve been in a funk lately. It’s been so grey and dreary but it was finally easy to see the spring coming with the wonderful weather today.
This morning we went to Kloiya Bay to explore and enjoy a bonfire. Lily helped light the fire and Leif made sure to keep stoking it (in case it went out). We saw river otters, bald eagles and even a wolf. With predators and scavengers around, it’s no wonder that we also found bones from different animals like moose as well. Many hunters dump unwanted carcasses along the road down to this beautiful spot.
We came home for lunch and dipped beeswax candles. I practically killed by hand trying to chop up the big brick of beeswax I had. I had the best success heating my cleaver under very hot water, wiping off the water and rocking my weight back and forth on the knife. We put the chunks of beeswax to melt in an old tall tomato juice can in a pot with water. Perhaps the can could have gone on the element directly but just in case I used the pot. Once it was melted we took the wicks that we cut double the height of the can and dipped them in to make two candles on either end of the wick. Occasionally I’d cut off the dripped “nipple” at the bottom of the candles between dippings. Many many MANY dippings later they were done.
For supper we made braided herb bread and “sun” soup. This bread was easy to make and so delicious. I could tell I’d love it before it was baked with the wonderful garlic and herb scent. Recipes here!
If you don’t already and would like to celebrate Imbolc this year too, don’t think you missed your chance. This holiday isn’t tied to one day or even to specific traditions. Originally it would have been celebrated when sheep started to lactate in preparation for their lambs to be born. This time of year is acknowledged in different ways and by different religions. Many people know this time of year as being Groundhog’s day.