PORTLAND – A Celtic Concert for Brigid’s Day will feature music and lore celebrating the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Maine Irish Heritage Center on State Street.

The folk duo Castlebay (Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee) will be joined by members of Ceilidh House in celebration of this holiday, also known as St Brigid’s Day. Celtic harp, guitar, fiddle, whistle and vocals will interweave with Celtic lore and poetry.

Did you ever wonder why Feb. 2 is designated as “Groundhog Day.” This date is an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating emergence from winter called Imbolc, according to the concert’s organizers.

Imbolc is halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. The name is derived from Oi-melc or “ewe’s milk” since this is the time of lactating sheep.

Each quarter has a guardian and for Imbolc the guardian is the maiden Brigid. Her realm is the hearth, emergence and creativity. So revered that she became an Irish saint, she is the patroness of smiths, craftspeople, poets and musicians.

The music and lore of the ancient Celts is alive with imagery associated with peoples’ relationship to the natural world.

Admission: $10, $8 for elders and students. For reservations, call (207) 780-0118.


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