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HUNTINGTON -- The Unitarian Fellowship of Huntington, 619 6th Ave., will feature a Candlemas Celebration from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1.

The group's focus this year will be an Irish/Celtic-themed event and will have a theme of "Sharing without expectation of return."

Some of the highlights will include a Mulligan Stew and Beggar's Stew. Folks are asked to bring a chopped vegetable to toss into a communal stew. The Mulligan Stew will have meat (most likely lamb), and the Beggar's Stew will be for vegetarians. The group will serve this in homemade bread bowls.

There will also be a candlelit bardic circle and an open mic session. Bring a blanket and pillow to put down on the floor.

Guests are also asked to bring leftover candle wax to make a unity candle, as well as a donation for the church if possible, although It is not required to donate to attend, said organizers Linda McAteer and Crystal Hope Kendrick.

Lastly, bring a nonperishable food item for the local food bank. The group is also always gathering clothing donations for Branches, the local domestic violence shelter for women.

According to the Unitarian website, in Ireland they celebrate this day as The Feast of St. Brigid. St. Brigid is said to walk the earth on Jan. 31 and is the patron saint of many things. Another name for Feb. 2 is Imbolc which means "In the Belly" in Gaelic and has to do with the fact that the ewes are usually birthing at this time. Another aspect of Candlemas is gathering together with the community to celebrate the first signs of spring.


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