Is it Ever Too Cold For the Groundhog to Come Out of His Hole?

    Groundhog Day on the Gunflint Trail

     I was researching the answer to the above question when I stumbled upon some interesting information regarding Groundhog’s Day.  Maybe everyone knows these facts and I’m just a little slow but I was surprised to find out there’s more to Groundhog’s Day than whether or not a groundhog sees his shadow.

     Did you know Groundhog’s Day is half-way between the winter solstice and spring equinox? It’s technically when winter is half-over but if the Groundhog doesn’t see his shadow he believes it’s spring or a sign of spring and stays above ground.  If he sees his shadow then he heads back into his hole because it means there will be six more weeks of bad weather. Here is an old English saying in relation to Groundhog’s Day.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

     The word "Candlemas" in the above passage made me curious as to what in the world that word meant.  When I looked it up I found out Groundhog’s Day, like many other modern day celebrations, has religious roots.  I’ve never heard anything in my church about this day but according to this website, "February 2 is "Candlemas" in many churches and is the day for observing the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus as well as the presentation of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem (see Luke 2:21-40)." 

     The "Candlemas" question remained but looking into it futher the celebration in a church on February 2 would contain candles, hence the word "Candlemas" or Candle Mass.  There’s a reason for the candles too and as far as I can tell it doesn’t relate to the sun appearing more or that it was getting lighter each day.  Although it certainly could have that meaning as well.  You can read about the "Candlemas" on the website as well. 

     After digging into all of this research I ran out of time and never figured out if it is ever too cold for the groundhog to come out of his hole. If you know any thing more about Groundhog’s Day then please fill me in so I can shed some more "light" on the topic.

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