February 2 is commonly known as Ground Hog Day. Punxsutawney Phil is supposed to come out of his burrow and tell us whether or not Spring is on its way. Unfortunately, he’s not very accurate. He’s right about 39% of the time. Random chance is 33%. But it’s a big shindig in Punxsutawney, PA so I don’t think it will be going away any time soon.
It’s also Imbolc, a cross-quarter day between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Solstice. As it is considered the beginning of Spring, it is a time of cleansing and purification, growth and renewal. It is believed to have originated as Pagan festival honoring the goddess Brighid and Christianized into the festival of Saint Brighid. To different degrees, both are still celebrated on or about this day.
But the tradition that concerned me today is that of Candlemas Day. Candlemas Day has had different meanings over time. It is the Christian festival of lights; combining when Jesus was brought to the temple 40 days after his birth and the time when all the candles to be used in the church were brought forth and blessed. This was also the time for the lady of the house to inventory the candles to make sure she had enough to get through the winter. Candles were important for light but also thought to give protection against illness.
Candlemas was also the time when all the Christmas decorations were to be removed to avoid bad luck in the house. (Christmas was a much longer affair, back when.) This custom persisted for hundreds of years. Today there are people who claim Twelfth Day or Epiphany is The Day. I, however, prefer Candlemas Day. It allows me to leave my lights up to brighten my evenings for a few weeks more. Unfortunately, the past couple of years I have been failing in this regard. Today I am determined to clear Christmas out!
Today didn’t go as well as I had hoped and I didn’t get started till just before dinner. I am, however, relieved to say that Christmas is put away. All the lights and suction cups were removed from the windows and the suction cup marks washed off. The lights were dusted and bagged; the suction cups washed and mostly dried by the Husband. They will now finish drying overnight and then join the lights in the light box.
Next on the list were the candle holders. I had already boxed the centerpiece on the table when I thought to take a picture. You can see it on my Christmas post. These are what was left, de-waxed and cleaned and ready to put away.
I then cleaned off the table and got out the winter place mats.
And in honor of Candlemas I lit some candles to brighten the evening.
And according the clock, I’m a day late posting this! 🙂