IN 2023 IMBOLC TOOK PLACE ON SATURDAY 21st JANUARY IN KANNUSALI ESPOO, FINLAND. IN 2024 JOIN US IN ESPOO FOR A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE IMBOLC – SUOMI – 17.2.23 – More information soon!
JOIN US FOR AN EVENING OF TRADITIONAL AND CONTEMPORARY IRISH MUSIC, SONG AND DANCE, FEATURING TALENTED PERFORMERS FROM IRELAND & EUROPE IN THIS BEAUTIFUL AND LIVELY PRODUCTION DEVELOPED BY COMPOSER, CHOREOGRAPHER & MUSICAL DIRECTOR OF THE EUROPEAN IRISH MUSIC ENSEMBLE, MARK HENNESSEY.
The performance is a celebration for the traditional holiday, Imbolc. This is the time when the dark Winter recedes and the light of the Summer returns. The theme will be explored through a selection of pieces ranging from melancholy airs to lively and raucous polkas, reels and jigs. These old and traditional tunes and dances will be combined with new and original music from Irish composer Mark Hennessey, who also stars in the performance as principal dancer and musician (fiddle). His vision will be brought to life featuring a talented cast of musicians, dancers and singers including visiting performer David Brennan from Dublin, Ireland (Guitar, Bódhrán, Vocals).
They will be joined on stage with very special guests Helena Rängman & Mariia Bertus, along with musicians from the European Irish Music Ensemble and Finland based Irish dancers, Rince Revontulet.
In 2023 the European Irish Music Ensemble and company will celebrate Imbolc in Helsinki with the performance of “Imbolc” on the 21st of January at the Kannusali theatre, Espoo city.
We would like to thank the friends of the community below for their contribution and help to make Imbolc a reality. You contribution and continued support is greatly appreciated!
HISTORY OF IMBOLC
Imbolc marks the beginning of spring and the end of the dark winter days and it has been celebrated since ancient times. It is a midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.
Imbolc derives from the Old Irish “i mbolg” meaning “in the belly”, when new life returns after the dark and cold of winter.
In early Celtic times, it was a time to celebrate the Celtic Goddess Brigid. She was the Goddess of inspiration, healing, and smithcraft with associations to fire, the hearth and poetry.
In pre-Christian times people would flock to healing wells during the celebration of Imbolc. They would walk clockwise around a healing well or wishing tree. People would bring strips of cloth and tie it to a branch of the tree, wishing for good fortune for the year to come.
When Ireland was Christianised in the 5th century, the mantle of the Goddess Brigid was passed on to Saint Brigid. She founded a monastery in Kildare and ended her days there. The goddess Brigid festival was Christianised to become Saint Brigid’s Day.
The Saint Brigid’s Cross is one of the archetypal symbols of Ireland, it is considered a Christian symbol but it has its roots in the pre-christian goddess Brigid. It is usually made from rushes and comprises a woven square in the centre and four radials tied at the ends.
The cross was traditionally hung on the kitchen wall to protect the house from fire and evil. Even today a Brigid’s Cross can be found in many Irish homes, especially in rural areas.