Hook Head Lighthouse is to celebrate Ireland’s ‘Fire Goddess,’ reports Tom MacSweeney, by staging the first Imbolc Festival to be celebrated at the 800-year-old lighthouse.
Imbolc is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring, it is also the feast of St. Bridget, in ancient Irish mythology, Bridget was a fire goddess. She is also the patron saint of boatmen, sailors, and mariners. Imbolc is one of the lesser-known festivals of the ancient Celts, but it was one of the four most important festivals in the Celtic calendar and it is set to be revived and celebrated at the 800-year-old lighthouse on February 2, 3 and 4.
The event will include ‘A Fire in the Head' spoken word evening, celebrating the turning of the Celtic year; poetry, stories, and song will be shared by candlelight, all under the theme of fire and water. The story of St. Bridget of Kildare will also be shared. A spoken word event will take place with an open invitation to storytellers, poets, rappers and all wordsmiths to join the occasion the ‘word’ competition around the theme of Imbolc, this spoken word event will be judged by none other than best-selling author Cat Hogan and the winner will be awarded tickets to the Kieran Goss concert which is due to take place at the lighthouse in the summer.
There will also be a ‘Celtic Goddess Ceremony’ on the theme of ‘quickening' is set to take place. The word Imbolc means literally "in the belly" in the old Irish Neolithic language, and is symbolic of the beginning of the season and signals the 'quickening of the year'. At 12 noon on Sunday, Baya Salmon-Hawk will perform a Celtic Goddess Ceremony on the theme of ‘quickening within you' commencing the ceremony at St Dubhan's Well located at Dubhan's church ruins and walking to lighthouse into garden cobbled maze, in the centre of maze participants can tie Spring wishes on the Imbolc tree sculpture surrounded by the fire-baskets lighting in maze garden.