February 2nd is more than just Ground Hog Day…
Commonly, February 2nd is 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 a 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 concerns 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 to stick with Candlemas Day. It allows me to leave my lights up to brighten my evenings for a few weeks more.
So today I am determined to clear Christmas out! I will light some candles in celebration, heat up some Hot Sweet Cider that I have made, and start stripping the last of Christmas out of my house. I’ll let you how it all works out. (After I get my backside out of bed in the morning. I’m posting at midnight here. 🙂 )
*** UPDATE ***
Did I get Christmas put away? Yes. Clean-up? Not quite. There are still suction cup marks to be washed off the windows and the suction cups need washed as well. Stupidity and a YUK screwed with my day.
The stupidity? I sat down at the computer to look up ‘just one thing’ before bed. No, I’m not telling what time I actually got to bed (Or what time I got up.). I gotta figure out an alarm that won’t wake up the house so that I don’t ramble the internet until the wee hours. Thank heavens I’m not working.
The YUK? Weelll, apparently someone threw up on my bed. It was a juicy puke without much fur, so you know there will be a big honkin’ furball anytime now. The problem was that it happened at night. Before I went to bed but after I turned all the lights off ‘cept the night-light. So I turned the heating blanket on, got ready and got in bed. I didn’t find the puke till I got up and went to make the bed. I slept in it. I like to think it was dry by the time I got in bed. That’s better, right? Anyway, that meant the monthly bed strip and wash was today, like it or not. YUK.
But Christmas is gone. I even pitched the poinsettias. No trying to keep them going till spring, no saving them. I put them right over the hill even though I was cringing as I did it. And now I’m sad. The house looks so dark and dreary without all the lights in the windows. *sniffle*