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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Candlemas / Imbolc!

It is 23F here, and we are having rolling blackouts because the power demand is too high for the supply. 

I am blogging while the power is on!

Meanwhile, our community association does not allow solar panels on the houses in the area (??!?).

Groundhog Day, or Imbolc, or Candlemas, whatever you choose to call it, is a Cross-Quarter Day on the ancient European Calendar of the Seasons. It is halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Thus the saying about six weeks more of winter if the groundhog ... which way was that?

From the Old Farmer's Almanac:

February 2, Candlemas

Candlemas acquired its English name from the candles lit that day in churches to celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple of Jerusalem, but originally it was called Imbolc (lambs' milk) because the lambing season began. It was also called Brigantia for the Celtic female deity of light, calling attention to the Sun's being halfway on its advance from the winter solstice to the spring equinox.
  • It was not held as a good omen if the day itself was bright and sunny, for that betokened snow and frost to continue to the hiring of the laborers 6 weeks later on Lady Day.
  • If it was cloudy and dark, warmth and rain would thaw out the fields and have them ready for planting. Our Groundhog Day is a remote survivor of that belief.
Read more about it at School of the Seasons, if you like!

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