Imbolc Riverfire pageant at Basilica Hudson

Dominic Wolff’s Dopaluna fire sculpture set up and ready to go for this Saturday’s Imbolc Riverfire at Basilica Hudson.

Imbolc is upon us! In ancient Celtic tradition, Imbolc – the halfway point on the Wheel of the Year between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox, celebrated on February 1 or 2 – is a fire festival associated with the maiden goddess Brigid. It’s the time of “quickening,” when lambing begins and the first stirrings of spring may be seen.

Brigid’s counterpart in Greek mythology is Persephone, who should be emerging from her annual sojourn in Hades quite soon. At Basilica Hudson, installation and performance artist J. Patrick Doyle’s Harpooned Productions is preparing an Eleusinian festival of fire and light called Imbolc Riverfire, to be performed on February 2 as an opportunity to “engage in folklore rooted in agricultural history, Celtic and German folk traditions and Greek and Roman myths.”


Through music, movement, puppetry and performance taking place in Basilica Hudson’s reclaimed industrial factory, the multidisciplinary installation follows the metamorphosis of Demeter into different forms (eagle, lion and ox – all large-scale rod puppets) as she searches for her daughter Persephone, who has been abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, and taken beneath the Earth to be his bride. It all culminates in a burst of song, dance and pageantry celebrating the arrival of spring.

Imbolc Riverfire takes place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 2. Tickets cost $25 general admission, $10 for kids aged 6 to 11 and can be reserved at

Imbolc Riverfire at Basilica Hudson, Saturday, Feb. 2, 4-6:30 p.m., $25/$10, Basilica Hudson, 110 South Front St., Hudson,