Thursday, February 02, 2012

Happy Candlemas

I almost forgot today is Candlemas, aka Groundhog Day. The liturgical churches traditionally celebrate February 2 as the festival of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple. It's called Candlemas because in some regions the priest blessed the candles for the year on that day. In England there was a belief that Christmas greenery had to be taken down by February 2 or risk bad luck. So I am really early by waiting only until after Epiphany (January 6) to dismantle the tree! The same date was a major pagan Celtic festival. Many European cultures have legends about various animals emerging from their dens to check the weather on Candlemas. The American folklore of Groundhog Day comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch.

I still don't grok, though, why BAD weather on February 2 foretells GOOD weather with an early spring.


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