In the Celtic Calendar the festival of Imbolc begins on 31st January and goes into 1st February, the Celts beginning a new day at the end of each evening.
In my part of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, today was a dreich, dreary, misty day with miserable rain. Not an inspiring start to what is effectively the beginning of the spring season though, in all honesty, we have not yet had a 'proper' winter so it's hard to imagine spring just around the corner. the festival of Imbolc was thought to have centred around the lambing time and the first appearances of particular plants so it's hard, for me, to imagine it as a 'fixed' celebratory day.
As far as I've read, there's no fixed evidence that Imbolc was definitely celebrated in north east Scotland in Celtic/late Iron Age times but when parallels are made it's likely if there was a Celtic/ Druid culture lasting for centuries in this area of Europe, then they probably had something similar to what has come down to us in writing regarding Imbolc celebrations in Ireland.
Instead of a dreary photo of my garden, here's a lovely fresh image of a well-bloomed yellow rose.
In past years at Imbolc, the beginning of February, I've had signs of spring in my garden. The yellow aconites pop out around this time and brighten up the otherwise dull and tired flower beds. However, since I don;t have as much garden as I used to, and since aconites can be a wee bit poisonous to the unwary, I don't really expect any to flourish any more. If any appear, they'll have somehow self planted themselves but since it's a tenacious plant that might not be an impossible scenario. Since I can't quickly lay my hands on one of my own photos, here's an image from Wikimedia Commons.
The weather might not be spectacular but I have beginning of February compensations.
Tomorrow, the 2nd Feb., I'm off to present an author talk to a prestigious and well established group in the Aberdeen area - the Petroleum Women's Club of Scotland.
My PowerPoint presentation is all prepared and I'll be giving my brand new projector screen it's first proper outing along with my dinky little projector.
Before then I hope to do some writing....