How To Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual

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Say goodbye to winter with this fun family ritual. Image by Sam Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images

Imbolc is typically around the time when we're all getting cabin fever -- it's cold, we're snowed in, and frankly, we're all a bit tired of winter. We know it's ending soon, but it's never quite soon enough. This simple ritual is a fun one to do with your family on a snowy day, but can also be performed by a single person. The best time to do it is when you have a fresh layer of snow on the ground, but if that's not possible, never fear.

Find a big pile of snow to work in.

Try to time the rite so you begin it just before dinner -- you can actually start it while your meal is cooking.

Prepare a collection of things to make noise with -- bells, clappers, drums, etc. Make sure each person has one form of noisemaker. You'll also need a candle in the color of your choice (tall enough to stick in the snow), something to light it with (like a lighter or matches), and a bowl.

Go outside, and create a symbol of spring in the snow. You could draw a picture of the sun or some flowers, rabbits, anything that means spring to your family. If you have a lot of space, feel free to make it as big as you like. Another option is to have each person make their own symbol in the snow.

One family member calls out:

Old man winter, it's time to go!
Take with you these piles of snow!

The other family members stomp around the symbol in a circle through the snow, banging their drums, ringing their bells, and chanting:

Melt, snow, melt!
Spring will soon return!

Light the candle, and place it in the center of the circle. Say:

A flame, a fire, all the warmth it brings,
melt the snow, cold be gone, welcome back the spring!

The rest of the family stomps through the snow once more, in a circle, making lots of noise and chanting:

Melt, snow, melt!
Spring will soon return!

Leave the candle to burn out on its own. Fill your bowl with snow and take it back inside with you. Place it in the center of your table and eat your meal. By the time you're done, the snow should be close to melted (if you have to, put it near the stove to hurry things along).

Hold up the bowl, and say:

The snow has melted! Spring will return!

Make lots of noise with your bells and drums, clapping and whooping it up. Use the melted snow water to water a plant, or save it for ritual use later on.

Tips: If you have too much snow for the candle to stand in, place it on a stump or rock instead.

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Wigington, Patti. "How To Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual." ThoughtCo, Jul. 14, 2016, thoughtco.com/hold-a-farewell-to-winter-ritual-2562109. Wigington, Patti. (2016, July 14). How To Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/hold-a-farewell-to-winter-ritual-2562109 Wigington, Patti. "How To Hold a Farewell to Winter Ritual." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/hold-a-farewell-to-winter-ritual-2562109 (accessed November 23, 2017).