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Happy Candlemas! Spring will soon be here!

  1. Feb 2, 2007 #1
    As the poem by Robert Herrick records, the eve of Candlemas was the day on which Christmas decorations of greenery were removed from people's homes; for traces of berries, holly and so forth will bring death among the congregation before another year is out. Another tradition holds that anyone who hears funeral bells tolling on Candlemas will soon hear of the death of a close friend or relative; each toll of the bell represents a day that will pass before the unfortunate news is learned.

    In the British Isles, good weather at Candlemas is taken to indicate severe winter weather later. It is also the date that bears emerge from hibernation to inspect the weather as well as wolves, who if they choose to return to their lairs on this day is interpreted as meaning severe weather will continue for another forty days at least. In the United States and Canada, Candlemas evolved into Groundhog Day celebrated on the same date.

    The earliest American reference to Groundhog Day can be found at the Pennsylvania Dutch Folklore Center at Franklin and Marshall College:

    February 4, 1841 — from Morgantown, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris' diary …"Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."


    He didn't see his shadow!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2007 #2


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    I guess it's a good thing I finally got around to putting away the last of my Christmas decorations today. I never heard of that tradition before, since I was always taught to take down Christmas decorations on the Epiphany, but I never do. I still had a pile of decorations sitting on the living room floor that I had taken down, but hadn't gotten boxed up and put away yet, and finally got tired of looking at it today and put them away. :redface:
  4. Feb 2, 2007 #3


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    Great information hypatia!!

    I'm looking forward to the early spring, it's been SO COLD!!!!

    Punxsutawney Phil can't be wrong, right?
  5. Feb 2, 2007 #4
    Well my groundhog didn't peek its nose out today. as of 10 PM no tracks in the snow. It could of been the sub-artic temps that kept him in, but thats just a guess on my behalf. So if it stayed in all day, it means it didn't see its shadow? Hmm tuff call on that one.
    lol Moonbear, I took my holiday stuff up to the attic today too. In these latter centuries, it should be known as "the day we just get tired of looking at it".
  6. Feb 2, 2007 #5


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    I'm sure you're right. If he didn't go outside, no shadows to see, so we can look forward to an early spring. :approve:

    :rofl: I feel so much better knowing I'm not the only one! As long as the Christmas decorations are down before Valentine's Day, that's good enough, right? :biggrin:
  7. Feb 2, 2007 #6
    Well there was the one year I had to tape hearts to santas pack, but we'll leave that tale for another wintery night.:blushing:
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