“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright
Winter will take another flight.
If Candlemas Day be cloud and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.”
Candlemas takes its name from the blessing of candles that will be used throughout the year. It is the Feast of the Presentation of Christ to Anna and Simeon, where Christ is seen as the Light. The light of spring with its new dawning is awakening, and the new meets the old on both physical and spiritual planes. This is a calming reassurance of the continuity of life and of the potential we have to be a light ourselves.
This day is also marked in the United States as “Groundhog Day.” The old belief was that all the hibernating animals would wake up on this day and come out to see if it was still winter or not. Interestingly, if it is cloudy and the groundhog sees no shadow, there will be an early spring. However, sunny weather causes a shadow, and the groundhog will predict 40 more days of winter.
The way to mark this day, is to of course, eat the traditional foods of Candlemas, which usually include crepes and pancakes. It is a day for agricultural sowing of the fields, or at least making a furrow, and it could be a day for spring cleaning and beginning new projects. What new things have you wanted to do and need courage to begin?
And, this is of course a day of candle making. Old candles can be melted down into new dipped or walnut shell candle boats. Other types of floating candles can be made from wax poured into little cookie cutters that have been oiled and allowed to set with a wick. Candles for tiny hands can be rolled; and candles can be dipped. I keep separate pots for candle making endeavors on a shelf in my laundry room. There are instructions for “sand candles” in the book “All Year Round”; you will need a tennis ball to press into the sand and then to poke three holes into this shape so the finished candle will have three legs upon which to stand. Earth candles are also lovely and can be dug into the yard to welcome all the little flowering bulbs just beginning to make an appearance.
Inside, a traditional nature table for this time of year may include little spring flowers from bulbs, and a pale green cloth.
I hope you found a calming, bright peace on this Candlemas Day. May our inner light glow out into the world to shine for all to see.