Thursday, February 02, 2006


There is an old belief in America that all hibernating animals wake up on Candlemas day and come out to see if it is still winter. If it is a sunny day, the animals will see their shadow and go back to earth for 40 days. If it is cloudy ( it is today), they will not be frigthened by their shadows and will stay above ground. Thus, if it is cloudy, people believe we shall have an early spring.

Candlemas on this side of the pond, takes its name rom the blessing of the candles on this day for use in church throughout the coming year. Christians used to light candles for Baby Jesus and Mother Mary and perhaps it is for this reason that in some areas today the snowdrops which are around are also known as Candlemas Bells or Mary's tapers.

"If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
winter will take another flight.
If Candlemas Day be cloud and rain,
Winter us gone and will not come again"

( Taken from Festivals, Family and Food by Diana Carey and July Large).

As its cloudy I look forward to winter going away and on my walk this afternoon will look out for the snowdrops. We will light a candle with our meal and generally talk about what a groundhog looks like. Any ideas?

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