Friday, February 01, 2013

Candlemas Day Feb 2nd (aka Groundhog Day)

"The promises of the return of the light and the renewal of life which were made at the winter solstice are now becoming manifest. It's the dawn of the year. It's the time when a woman who is pregnant begins showing. It's time to creep out of the hibernation of winter, cautiously, like the Ground Hog who supposedly emerges on this day to check his shadow. It's the time of germination. This is a traditional time for new beginnings."

February 2nd falls midway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.There is much more to February 2nd than the ancient American Festival of Ground Hog Day. Early American lore holds  that on Candlemas one must have on hand one half of one's hay and one half of one's wood to carry the hosehold through the harsh weather still to come. Traditionally Candlemas is the day to take down the Christmas decorations if one has not already done so on Twelfth Night (January 6th). In the Christian tradition candles are brought to the church to be blessed by the priest; hence the name "Candle-Mass". The blessed candles are taken home as a talisman against ill fortune and disaster. As a time of renewal Candlemas is also said to be a good time to commence Spring cleaning! Traditional foods for Candlemas are pancakes and crepes, appropriate because their round shapes mimic the sun. 

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