The Year

How did the community mark the Seasons of the Year and what were their Celebrations of the Year ?

Imbolc / Candlemass
The ancient marker between Yule and Ostara as a celebration of the coming season.
The Church adopted this as the the feast of the Purification of Mary.
The theme of purification remained a link between the two holy days.
Fire has been part of the ancient celebrations, and candles reflect this in the modern church.

The Evidence for Imbolc
Most of the evidence of how Imbolc was celebrated in Ireland derives from folklore collected during the last two hundred years and cross-cultural studies of similar customs in Scandinavia. Folklorists have collected a great deal of data about Imbolc. Much Irish data now lies in the archives of the National University, Dublin. In Festival of Brigit, Séamas Ó Catháin did an important study of this material and compared it to similar traditions in Scandinavia, but this is only a first step. Kim McCone and others have done important analyses of the medieval hagiography of St. Brigid and what it tells us about her cult and pagan roots. Similar studies need to be done of Imbolc and Brigid in other Celtic cultures. Alexander Carmichael collected some material on Imbolc in the Highlands for his Carmina Gadelica but his study was far from exhaustive. Until such wide-ranging analysis and collation takes place, suggestions about the original rituals can only be preliminary hypotheses, suggestions for further study.
This essay presents the customs as we know them from the folklore archives and some suggestions of the original meaning, context, and actions that lay behind the more recent activities.

February 1st is the feast day of St. Brigid, who began her life as a pagan goddess and ended up a Christian saint. She was a fire and fertility goddess.
In the HIghlands, women dress the corn doll or last sheaf (from Lammas or the autumn equinox) in a bridal gown and put her in a basket, which is called the Bride's bed. A wand, candle or other phallic object is laid across her and Bride is invited to come, for her bed is ready.

Imbolc ( February 2nd) is one of the four great Sabbats of the Celtic year. The word means ‘ewe’s milk’ (some translate it as lactation of the lambs) and is pronounced EE- molc.
It is a quiet sabbat, considered a time for inner reflection, to cast off emotional burdens, to ‘clean one’s house’. It is a time for initiations and for the dedication of new spells.
It is also a time of joy, for it is also the celebration of the ending of winter, of the rebirth of the sun and the first green shoots of spring.

Valentines Day
It seems that the fashion for Valentine's cards is very old.. this is from Dr Lucas Diaries in Stirling

Feb 15 1816 - The Custom of sending Valentines among the young people was carried to excess this year, ‘tis reported tat upwards of 400 passed the post office. Several young people received them by dozens.