Not only is today Groundhog Day, it's Candlemas!
Candlemas is a very old holiday with a Christian-Pagan history. Its Christian version is called the Purification of the Virgin and is the end/culmination of the forty day period after Mary gave birth baby on December 25. It's called Candlemas beacuse this was the day that all the Church's candles for the year were blessed.
Candlemas is the church “adaptation” of a pagan goddess holiday called Imbolc where people light candles to banish dark spooks. It is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring. It is held halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The word Imbolc, variously spelled Imbolg, Oimelc and Imelg, means “ewe-milk” because this is the time lambs were born in old England, Ireland and most of Europe thus bringing back the flow of ewe’s milk.
And Candlemas Bells, or Snowdrops, are an undeniable signal that the warm days will come again. According to legend, the snowdrop became the symbol of hope when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winters would never end, an angel appeared. She transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, proving that the winters do eventually give way to the spring.
The moral of the story is:
- There's always a flower for that
- The more you know
- Now you're smarter.