March 25th is “Cailleach Day” which is essentially a celebration of the Spring Equinox on a fixed date. This day acknowledges the yearly defeat of/escape from The Cailleach by Brigid/Bride in the Celtic lands. This conflict is reflected in the changing of the seasons away from Winter into the warmth of Spring. As a priest of the Cailleach, this is a bittersweet occasion since the yearly reign of the Cailleach is nearing its end at this time. This year, for most of the nation winter has been very heavy and difficult and most people are more than ready for it to be over, but I am always a bit sad to see the approach of Bealtaine, as that is the official transition day from the Dark half of the year to the Light half and on May Eve Cailleach transforms once again to gray stone only to be reborn at Samhain; which is a long time to wait for your Matron Goddess!
Celebrations for this day include offerings of blackened bread, prayers for protection from the harsh heat of summer (where I currently live, the temperature always climbs into the 100 degree F range) and the burning of black candles to honor the Veiled One; Winter’s Crone. Though I welcome Spring with its growth and greenery, gardening and blossoming flowers, I am always a bit sad to see winter wane and to know that a long, exceedingly hot summer must once again be endured before we reach Samhain and The Cailleach awakens from her slumber.