Those of us who dare to love dairy need no excuse to indulge in lactose-laden comfort. Cheese and ice cream and bowls of cereal with ice-cold milk are delightful any day of the year. However, it turns out there is actually an ancient mid-winter festival dedicated not just to celebrating the transition from the cold and the dark to the warm and bright but also fertility, animal husbandry, and—wait for it—dairy!

Imbolc-Cheese-roundup-FB-cover

Imbolc, pronounced IM-bulk, comes from the Celtic word for sheep’s milk. In Ireland, it is also known as the feast of Brigid (“breed”), a Celtic deity, or St. Brigid, for Catholics. Traditional celebrations include special foods, bonfires, and the lighting of candles, or perhaps the offering of prayers. However, you don’t need to be a neo-pagan to enjoy the returning of the light.

According to one article, “Foods appropriate to eat on this day include those from the dairy, since Imbolc marks the festival of calving. Sour cream dishes are fine. Spicy and full-bodied foods in honor of the Sun are equally attuned. Curries and all dishes made with peppers, onions, leeks, shallots, garlic or chives are appropriate. Spiced wines and dishes containing raisins—all foods symbolic of the Sun—are also traditional.”

So, bust out that queso dip you’ve been wanting to try out for Superbowl Sunday and engage in a time-honored ritual.

To help you get your celebration started, we pulled our favorite Pins, full of dairy goodness.

White Queso Dip from Fake Ginger

You are going to love this white queso. It’s light and creamy, with just the right amount of kick.

A Festival for Dairy Lovers: Imbolc

Pin It | White Queso Dip

Braided Egg Bread from Roxana’s Home Baking

Not only is this bread a taste of buttery heaven, it also has a gorgeous braided design. It’s light and crisp on the outside and super soft and slightly sweet on the inside. This would make a great addition to any meal, especially on family holidays!

A Festival for Dairy Lovers: Imbolc

Pin It | Braided Bread

Cream Cheese Pound Cake from Hugs and Cookies

If there is one thing I love more than cream cheese, it’s cake. A cream cheese pound cake? Just stop it already. Let me grab a fork – or a shovel and start baking!

A Festival for Dairy Lovers: Imbolc

Pin It | Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Goat Cheese Tarts from Cooks, Writes, Eats

Aren’t these just the most gorgeous tarts you have ever seen? The bubbly, crispy goat cheese on top, the sophistication of the shape – they just scream fancy pants!

A Festival for Dairy Lovers: Imbolc

Pin It | Goat Cheese Tarts

Finally, we leave you with this bit of wisdom from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.
Blessed are the cheese-makers!

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