Candlemas Day

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter won’t come again.

Candlemas DayOn Facebook this morning people are talking about Groundhog Day. It’s also being talked about on the radio. Bright and early this morning we were being told that we were due for six more weeks of winter, but growing up we always went by what the weather was like at noon on this day. Somehow things get changed along the way without any of us knowing how or why. Who knows, maybe that was just a regional thing?

But Groundhog Day isn’t the only happening thing going on today. The 2nd of February is also known as Candlemas Day an ancient festival that marked the midpoint of winter.  Yay! We’re half-way there. Isn’t that enough to make you shout for joy? Already, you can see a big difference in the amount of daylight hours we have and I find it exciting. I love the way the longer days are becoming more noticeable. It makes me feel happy and hopeful in a way that I don’t feel any other time of the year.

From what I read Candlemas Day was originally a pagan festival called Imbolc which was called the Festival of Lights and focused on lighting fires. The lighting of fires celebrated the increasing power of the sun over the coming months, and we’re certainly feeling that!

So how did The Festival of Lights become known as Candlemas?

The church turned this pagan festival into Candlemas Day. It was the day when all the candles, that were to be used in the church during the year, were blessed. They were then distributed around and a lighted candle was placed in the window of each home. Sounds kind of nice actually. Of course, back in the day, candles were important, not only for shedding light, but people thought they gave protection against nasty things like the plague and famine. Nothing like a famine or plague to take the fun out of winter I like to say.

So while I did know this day meant we were half way through winter I didn’t know exactly why it was called Candlemas Day. Thank goodness Google can answer all our questions.

While this is totally unrelated to Candlemas or even Groundhog day, I do want to mention that there’s still time to enter a contest over at Lynn Davidson’s blog for a chance to win a copy of Steve Vernon’s YA novel, Sinking Deeper OR My awesome brilliant Questionable Heroic Decision to Invent a Sea Monster. I’ve already read the book and enjoyed it a lot!  Here’s the link if you’d like to enter.

So what am I planning this Candlemas Day? Well, I’m not building any bonfires I can tell you that right away, but I may just light a candle tonight to welcome in the second half of winter. I’m also going to enjoy this sunny day and feel glad that we’re half-way through winter.

Happy Candlemas Day! Do you have any special plans for today?

About these ads
Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. For me it’s just another day, but I am very grateful for the sunshine peeping through more often lately. I absolutely love Spring and look forward to it in a huge way. Then comes Summer! YAY! Winter is often extraordinarily beautiful here in Nova Scotia, but by mid-way I am glad to see the end coming.

    Thanks for the mention of Steve Vernon’s book giveaway on Tuesday.

    Enjoy Candlemas Day, Laura. :)

    Reply
    • It has turned out to be a gorgeous day here, Lynn. Feels like spring, doesn’t it?

      I hope you enjoyed the photos I sent of our crazy day last fall. :)

      Reply
      • oh Laura, thank you for the reminder. I’m so sorry about not replying but I will send an email as soon as I can. I enjoyed the photos of you but definitely not of me. (not the photographer’s fault)

        Reply
        • Not to worry, Lynn. I know how strapped you are for time. I’m just glad to know you got then and they didn’t arrive in someone else’s inbox. lol!

          ps: I think yours turned out MUCH better mine. )

  2. Angela Wilson

     /  February 2, 2013

    What Lynn said. :)

    Reply
  3. How fascinating about Candlemas, Laura. Thanks for enlightening us (get it? Groan!) Love learning about ancient festivals. I am glad it’s half way through winter. As much as I feel winter is part of what being a Canadian is all about, I’m always relieved to see spring arrive as winter does wear a person down after a while. I’m not like our Malamute Loup who lives for winter.

    Reply
    • LOL! Hey, I like corny jokes! Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m sure Loup is not so happy to know that winter is half over. Ah well, we can’t please everyone, can we?

      Reply
  4. I always wondered where Candlemas came from and it is a wonderful chance to celebrate the halfway point!

    Reply
  5. First I have heard of Candlemas. I love learning new things. My good old Dad always said, you should learn one new thing a day. And now I have so I can get on with my day of buying groceries, cleaning the house and running errands as is the usual on a Saturday. I may stop and meet hubby for a coffee at one point. Oh, and here on the west coast, February is the beginning of spring and we have seen signs already. Bring it on!!

    Reply
    • Glad I shed a little light on a subject you’s never heard of.. (Maybe I should be like Cathy and groan over that one!)

      Yes, I new spring comes early to the west coast. You’re so VERY lucky! I’m sure the flowers will soon be blooming.. *Jealous*

      Reply
  6. Great post today. I have heard of Candlemas but love the detail about it that you provided. I am so happy that winter is halfway over–although Feb and March Can still be brutal in NB at least we know there is an end in sight, and more light at the end of the tunnel (another ‘groaner’, I know). Love your blog.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Sylvia and welcome to my blog. I have a daughter living in NB, so yes, the winters can be very brutal much more than here in NS. LOL! Your groaner made me giggle. :)

      Reply
  7. Interesting! Thanks, Laura. I actually had a candle burning on my desk this morning, but I had no idea it was Candlemas Day, lol. Like you, I find the lengthening of days a very happy and hopeful thing, and it’s good to realize we’re halfway to spring! :)

    Reply
  8. “Nothing like a famine or plague…” You should start writing comedy! :) Thanks for sharing the meaning of Candlemas day and how it came to be named.

    Reply
  9. A storm? Surely not here in the Maritimes? Isn’t it spring now…shouldn’t the buds be budding and the trees be leafing and the insects be buzzing? I think you are mistaken, dear new friend…today I will begin to wear my sandals and capris and tank tops again…oh wait..,I do that even in the midst of winter, because of my age. Sorry for my mistake. :)

    Reply
    • I know it’s difficult to believe, isn’t it? But I’m watching the snow fall as I type this. Another shocker is that no two forecasts seem to be calling for the same amount of snow. Go figure! :)

      I noticed you’d been published in the Pottersfield Portfolio as was I. Small world. :)

      Reply
  10. cluculzwriter

     /  February 3, 2013

    I slept in until 6:30 this morning, and guess what! Yes, dawn’s light lay on the horizon. I felt instantly giddy. But no one noticed. My family’s worries enough about me. Haha. Yesterday at noon it was cloudy and chilly. Today it snowed. Hmm. Not a good sign. But you’re right, Laura. Who cares! Spring in coming!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: