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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Children Activities for Imbolc -- Corn Dolly

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The corn dolly is an ancient harvest custom, still widely practiced throughout Europe. In ancient Europe it was customary at harvest time to leave a small portion of the grain in the field, often twisted or tied into the shape of a man or the symbol of a god or goddess. Sometimes, it was even dressed in men's or women's clothes, kept in a cradle, or hung atop a pole.
One folk tradition that continues in both Christian and Pagan home on St. Brigid's Day (or Imbolc) is that of the Brigid's Bed. The young girls of the household or village create a corn dolly, adorning it with ribbons and baubles. The older women then make a bed for Brigid to lay in. On St. Brigid's Eve (Jan. 31), the young women gather together in one house to stay up all night with the corn dolly, and are later visited by all the young men of the community who must treat them and the corn dolly with respect. Meanwhile, the older women of the community stay at home and perform other ceremonies.
I recommend making a corn dolly, instructions below, and laying it in a Bridal Bed, to represent the Goddess Brigid. For Imbolc, use it as a household decoration throughout the year, because there are other traditions involving the corn dolly at the other Sabbats.


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