Candlemas and Groundhog Day February 02 2021
Today is one of those cross-quarter days. Some celebrate it as Ground hog day or the day when our hope of an end to winter might be divined by a groundhog. “Punxsutawney Phil,” from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has been the official weather groundhog, marking this day since 1887. 2016 marks his 130th year of predicting, with 100% accuracy, whether or not winter will be done in six weeks or will continue beyond that six weeks. The legend is that Punxsutawney Phil has never died but continues predicting winter’s end by drinking the elixir of life each summer at Punxsutawney’s annual Groundhog picnic.
If Phil comes out of his groundhog home on a sunny day, he sees his shadow (of which he is evidently afraid) and heads back in to hibernate some more. This mans much more winter for all of us, not just for Punxsutawney Phil. If the day is cloudy and ol’ Phil does not see his shadow? In six weeks winter will be done. An early spring is then in store!
In the Druid and Christian traditions, the cross-quarter day on February 2nd is called Candlemas Day. Traditionally this day was reserved for preparing candles for the coming year – first for the whole village and then for the church – sort of a working festival!
There is a little round with words to help keep straight which weather means which: