Groundhog Day Arrives, Freighted With Ancient Weather Prophecies

by Laurel | February 2nd, 2013


2 February 1931

Candlemas Day for Centuries an Omen of Long Winter If Sun Appeared — Woodchuck and His Shadow Watched in U.S. Since Early Settlers

Since the early Christian era February 2 has been the day of weather prognostication.

This is Candlemas day.

And centuries before the groundhog poked his snout outside his burrow into fame, the old world used this feast day of the “Purification of the Bledded Virgin” to predict that: —

“If Candlemas day be fair the clear,
There’ll be two winters in the year,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half o’ winter’s gone at Yule.”

Even the old Romans knew this day. Their prophecies were made amidst the flickers of candles lighted in honor of the Goddess Februa, mother of Mars.

Over all Europe, fine weather on this day omened unseasonably cold days and crop failures. Foul weather foretold a bright and early spring,

In Germany the saying was: —

“The shepherd would rather see the wolf enter his stable on Candlemas day than the sun.”

Too, thank the German for groundhog day.

On this day the hibernating badger awoke. He peered without his winter home. If the weather was foul, he romped about, for spring was soon to some. If the sun shone, he scurried back into his burrow, for the winter was not over.

German immigrants to America. settling in the East, found no badger. So they substituted the plentiful woodchuck or groundhog.

And in Scotland, on Candlemas day, pupils presented their teachers with gifts of money.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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