If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
But if it be dark with clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
One of my favorite days of the year, Feburary 2nd is a cross-quarter day, falling between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It brings the hope of renewal, the coming of light. Catholics celebrate it as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In our tradition, candles are blessed and distributed. In some cultures it also marks the end of Christmastime.
In Celtic tradition, it is Imbolc, the feast of the lactating ewes – again, a celebration of hope for Spring to come.
…and of course it was the Germans settling in Pennsylvania who brought the tradition of Groundhog Day to the United States.
Garrison Keillor offered a succinct history on The Writer’s Almanac a few years back.
It is cloudy and foggy here in East-Central Illinois this morning. Dare we hope that Winter is gone?
UPDATE: Bright sunshine here now…