Today, pagans celebrate Imbolc (pronounced EE-molc). It is the first of three spring festivals occurring every six weeks.
Like most pagan holidays, it has been transformed into something else. Groundhog Day. Though, an echo of animals and a promise of spring remains, it is not a celebration; just a pronouncement, and the groundhog, a weather forecaster. Today, where I live the sun shone bright, so the retreating groundhog forecasts six more weeks of winter. This may not be true for you.
But, Imbolc is a Wiccan/Druid celebration of light and fertility. Originating in Celtic Europe, it derives from a pastoral time, when people were connected to the spirit of the land and animals. It is the time when lambs were born and shoots pushed forth from the earth.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, you will notice that as the year spins, days are growing longer, the sun is shining brighter, and our energy is shifting. We shake off the wools of winter and begin to frolic ourselves.
For a more in depth discussion of Imbolc, visit this impressive UK site:
via Imbolc – The Wheel Of The Year – The White Goddess