Friday, February 01, 2008
at 1:53 AM
Morning Folks! RabbitRabbitRabbit! Hah! I remembered this month. Did you? Speaking of rodents, tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Always a day of hope for folks in the Northeast, at least. Six weeks more of winter if he sees his shadow, and spring is right around the corner if he doesn't.
Punxsutawney Phil, we all know, is the official Groundhog. They say he has had 100% accuracy and there is only one P. Phil who is now 120 years old because of some special elixer he drinks. The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers from Germany. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas Day brings clouds and rain,
Winter won't come again.
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair,
The half o the winter's to com and mair;
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half o the winter's gane at Yule.
A farmer should on Candlemas Day
Have half his corn and half his hay.
Or, instead of Groundhogs, you can watch your cats...
"When the cat lies in the sun in February,
She will creep behind the stove in March. "
In pre Christian days, Candlemas was a feast day, marking the halfway point between the shortest day of the year and the spring equinox, celebrating the increasing light as the end of winter approached.
Candlemas in the Christian Church, the 40th day after Christmas, celebrates the day Jesus was presented at the Temple. 40 days after a Jewish boy was born, the custom was to bring him to the Temple and present him to God.
And in the early church, on this day, candles were gathered and brought to to the church to be blessed and used in worship.
A few facts about February-
The Anglo Saxons called this month Sol-monath, "cake month" because they would offer cakes to the gods during that month. In Welsh it was called y mis bach, "the little month." In Shakespeare's day it was called Feverell. A hundred years later it was called Februeer.
I read that The name February is only about 100 years old, but I don't think that sounds right. Maybe it's 100 Leap Years old.
The Romans considered February as the start of spring. Wouldn't that be nice?
Shrove Tuesday is the day everyone eats pancakes in preparation of Lent.
Mardi Gras, translated as Fat Tuesday, is the same day as Shrove Tuesday.
And Kissing Friday or Nippy Hug Day, I just learned recently, was a day in England when schoolboys could kiss any girl they wanted to without any fear of being punished or rejected.
However, that Day in Leicestershire was called Nippy Hug Day. A man was allowed to kiss any woman he wanted to and if she rejected him, he had the right to pinch her bottom.
So Happy Groundhog Day, Happy Candlemas Day, Happy Mardi Gras, Happy Kissing Day, and Happy Nippy Hug Day. Enjoy your Februeer. Remember, spring is surely on its way!