Imbolc was the pagan festival of returning light, observed at the beginning of February. It marked the lengthening days and the first signs of spring and was traditionally a time when people started to think about the coming growing season and what produce they would later harvest. Literally meaning ‘in the belly’, Imbolc was connected with the pagan Celtic goddess Bridgid, who was the goddess of domestic matters, fertility and new growth.

When Christianity arrived, Imbolc became Candlemas and Bridgid became St Brigid, who was to become Ireland’s patron saint.

So, as we head towards the Spring equinox and we begin thinking about this year’s gardening plans, let’s raise a glass to Bridgid and Imbolc.