February 2nd, Groundhog day
It was also known as Candlemas or Imbolc in the old European Calendar. This is the day that Christmas or Yule decorations must officially come down. Here is the full poem for the day from the old Almanack:
If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
~ E. Holden
The US tradition honors the groundhog, or marmot, as the local weather prognosticator. Other regions honored the fox, the robin and a host of other animals. The animal chosen is not important, nor is the forecast supposed to relate to a whole country, but is said to describe a local microclimate phenomenon. So don’t look at the TV News, look out your window. It is raining here today and no groundhog, robin, fox, or human would be able to see their shadow so I guess we are in for an early Spring. I hope you are too!
Some fun links:
The American Ground Hog: Click here to visit Punxatawney Phil’s official site.
For some of the science behind the tradition, yes, there is a wee bit of science, see the Farmer’s Almanac article.
Most importantly, watch Groundhog Day again. I love this movie.