Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day inspired by Catholic holiday

Celebration over woodchuck shadow was originally called Candlemas Day
Graphic by Stormfax
What may have started as a Gaelic pagan festival marking the beginning of spring soon became a day to watch the shadow of a small mammal. Early German settlers reinvented the festival, calling it Candlemas Day.
It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold.  For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter.  A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home.  The day's weather continued to be important.  If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.
For more information and history on Groundhog Day, visit here.


  1. not true

    Candlemas is not a Christianized version of Imbolc. The earliest celebrations of Candlemas date back to fourth century Greece, it was later adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in the Seventh Century. Candlemas can’t be a corrupted form of Imbolc because Imbolc wasn’t celebrated in Greece or Rome. There are some overlaps between Candlemas and pagan antiquity, they just have nothing to do with Imbolc.

  2. Candlemas existed in the Church long before the Germanic tribes were converted. Methodius, bishop of Patara, has a known sermon on this feast dated 312. We cannot deny that that there is a connection between pagan feasts and Candlemas, but the Feast of the Presentation and Purification is based on the history of Christ and the Blessed Virgin's life.

  3. The candle refers to the canticle of St Simeon. "A light to the revelation of the gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel". It is about the Light of the world inserting himself into history.
    It was always, first, a Christian feast. Dan Brown really confused many of us Catholics on our own birthright.


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