This year, we are posting Candlemas cards to our friends who send holiday cards.
It's our way of extending the ideas of the Holidays further into the year.
We try and post a card for a different holiday each year. I selected Candlemas because I've never heard of it and it falls on another day which I do recognize.
As with Christmas and the Winter Solstice, Candlemas also overlaps with Nature and it's celebrations.
I've read stories about how each of the celebrations are to be treated.
You probably know about Phil in Punxatauney.
Well, apparently, he used to be a hedgehog, not a groundhog.
Farmers in Germany, where many of the settlers in PA were from, had a tradition each winter to determine if they should plant seed early or wait a few more weeks.
Halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox, they would 'consult' with the hedgehog and determine if they should till their ground or wait a few more weeks.
There often were celebrations, but probably none as gallant as they throw in PA.
The religious designation of Candlemas came from the Purification of the Mother. This is the time in the hebrew tradition where the parents take their new born male to the temple 40 days after their birth.
As it happens on our current calendar, Groundhogs day is only 39 days after Christmas. When Jesus paid his visit, he was recognized as the son of God. The church celebrates this occasion by blessing candles at a service so people can take them home as a symbol of their faith in Jesus.
On this Candlemas, and all to come, I and my family want to wish you an Early Spring and a light shining brightly through your home.