Today is Candlemas, a.k.a. Imbolc (Imbolc actually starts at sunset on February 1). In days gone by (and in the modern pagan community) this day is considered the first day of spring. And really, it makes perfect sense. The days are noticeably longer and buds are appearing on trees and peeking out of the ground. Even though it may still be cold and snowy we can feel the promise of warmer days. In some places this is the time when preparation begins for the spring planting in March. We think that nature sleeps all winter but really it just slows down, building strength for the growing season. Now it’s starting to speed up, opening up and out.
Candlemas is celebrated with fire, lit candles and bonfires, to symbolize the growing light and give warmth and courage through the last cold days. It’s also a good time to clean and clear. I like to do a really thorough spring cleaning in February, washing floors and walls, moving the furniture to clean underneath, scouring the oven and giving everything a really good airing. It’s like a whole new beginning.