Thursday, January 30, 2014
Imbolc may well be a neolithic tradition [neolithic is from Greek νέος (néos, "new") and λίθος (líthos, "stone") "new stone age"; c.10,200 BCE to c.4500-2000 BCE]. In Leinster, Ireland there is a stone tomb constructed between 3000 and 2500 BCE; the rising sun illuminates the passage into it twice a year, on Imbolc and Samhain.
In the Middle Ages, references to Imbolc are found in Irish literature salting in the 10th century. It became a time to think about the lengthening days and therefore time to think about the plantings ahead. (Conceptually, it was probably a precursor to Groundhog Day.)
*St. Patrick and St. Columba were the other two.