Wednesday, February 01, 2012


If Candlemas is mild and pure,
Winter will be long for sure.
Presentation at the Temple by Andrea Mantegnaca 1460
Candlemas is an ancient festival with many variations in different countries. Candlemas is the liturgical feast of the purifications of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It commemorates Mary''s obedience to the Mosaic law of ritual purification (as found in Leviticus 12:2-8) exactly 40 days after the birth of her child.

One of the traditions is taking candles to church to be blessed. These candles will be used throughout the following year in home worship. 

Punxsutawney Phil
Another tradition, because of this day being halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox, is watching for signs of Spring. In North America, we watch for the groundhog to see if he sees his shadow. In other parts of the world other animals are watched.
Update: Phil saw his shadow this morning - we'll see if we do have more winter.

It is thought to bring ill luck to bring snowdrops into the house before Candlemas. 

In France, crĉpes are the favored treat on this day. With as many fillings as there are cooks, my favorite is ham, egg, and Gruyère. 

What ever your tradition, I wish you joy of the day!


Pondside said...

When I was a girl, there was always mass on this day. Nowadays we have no real tradition around the day, aside from looking to see what Wiarton Willy does when (and if) he sees his shadow!

Priscilla said...

It is so sad that even the churches have discarded so many of the charming traditions of the past.

Antiques And Teacups said...

A neat seasonal post. We have friends in Punxatawney...will be interested to see what Phil said this morning!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Well, we do not have groundhogs where I live but we did have a feast of crêpes at my house last night... My daughter Holly joined friends at a crêperie for a savory and then a sweet dessert selection.


Priscilla said...

Mr. Phil saw his shadow - watching the weather report this morning, I think he's right.

Priscilla said...

Groundhogs are also know as Woodchucks.
I didn't have crêpes yesterday, we had cassoulet. I always enjoy crêpes when I'm in Normandy with so many different fillings.


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