Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Imbolc, Candelmas or Groundhog Day - Take Your Pick!

Since written records exist, societies, at least Western societies, have celebrated the beginning of February as a turning point in the year.  Winter is half over, days are longer, the sun is higher in the sky, and at least here, we're much more likely to get those blessed sunny days.  

Held on Feb. 1st, Imbolc is the ancient Celtic festival marking the coming of early spring, often celebrated as St. Brigid's Day.  Brigid was a Celtic goddess, adopted as an early Catholic Saint, one of Ireland's three patron Saints.  The 'real' Brigid was said to have studied under St. Patrick.  Imbolc has been associated with both lambing season and spring sowing of crops in Ireland and Scotland.

Candlemas is a largely separate Christian holiday celebrated on Feb. 2nd.  It too goes back to ancient times, and is said to have its origin in celebrating the return of light.  I only have to turn and look out my window to see how February's light is so much brighter than the dull days of January!  Both of these holidays may have origins in the Roman holiday Februalia. from which of course we get the modern month of February.

As for the modern Groundhog Day, in Pennsylvania this started as a newspaper stunt in Punxatawney, later picked up here in Wiarton and in Shubenecadie, Nova Scotia.  But it may have its Punxatawney origin, in Pensylvania Dutch country, in earlier German Candelmas traditions.  At any rate when Wiarton Willie appeared the other day, he did not see his shadow, so predicting an early spring, you'll be glad to hear!

Wiarton Willie, Ontario's famous albino weather prognosticator.

As for me, I just took a moment to rejoice at the bright February sunshine, three days in a row now!


Yesterday was a bone scan test in Owen Sound, we thought it would be a quick half-hour appointment.  And it was, until they said, 'You''ll have to come back for part two of the test this afternoon.'  What with delays and driving, it turned into a whole day of going back and forth.  We were both exhausted.


  1. I love the return of the light. It will be another few weeks for us before the muted daylight is gone for another year.

  2. Our mornings are so dark now, love your snow scene. Bone scans, they do take a while, maybe to let that dye circulate??? A bit like my heart scans, when I could not have coffee for the day before and the day of the scan, and the dye was all calculated for my weight, they did tell me it was very expensive and not to cancel unless absolutely necessary.Thank good ness for health care that is provided by the government down here.Enjoy those slightly longer daylight hours.

  3. Yes, I have noticed how much brighter the days are when the sun is shining. When it's raining (which is often) there's little difference in the days. After two days of solid rain, today is sunny and tomorrow (my hiking day) it's supposed to rain all day. :-(

  4. Poor Phil, the groundhog, allegedly saw his shadow and thus forecast six more weeks of winter. Willie and Phil will have to get their stories straight. H and I got our first COVID immunizations today, hope you and Mrs. F. G. have gotten your shot in the arm, or will soon.

  5. Like yourselves we prefer the warmer and sunnier winter days.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Wiarton Willie would just prefer to be left alone to sleep a few more weeks.

  7. With the Sun creeping daily higher in the sky, a few subtle weather changes are underway. The very early slight stirrings of Spring are at last upon us.

  8. I hear you! We were thrilled to snag an appointment for his quarterly PSA test. I couldn't do it last time. JB had to stand at the door and beg for one!
    I love the pagan celebrations!

  9. About St. Brigid: "Saint Brigid was born Brigit, and shares a name with a Celtic goddess from whom many legends and folk customs are associated." Forgive me, but you've given an incorrect impression of St. Brigid! There are other websites; this one, for instance, explains her history: