“Half your wood and half your hay you must have on Candlemas Day.”
The above is a bit of folk wisdom that’s spot-on. For traditional agrarian people, February 2nd, marks the mid-point of winter in terms of weather.
Today is exactly the half-way point from the winter solstice to the first day of spring.
For planning purposes farmers should be half way through their hay and wood pile.
February 2nd is popularly known as “Groundhog Day” (also known as Grundsaudaag in some parts of Pennsylvania). But did you know that Groundhog Day, wasn’t always celebrated on February 2nd?
In fact February14th used to be the traditional Groundhog Day.
Back in the days when we were colonies of England, the Julian calendar (Old Calendar) was officially replaced by the Gregorian calendar (New Calendar).
The change was in small increments over the course of two years.
Basically after everything was said and done, the change in calendars meant that 11 days were dropped from everyone’s life in September of 1752. Here in America we started reckoning time by a new way and really screwed things up for a while.
It’s the reason why Christmas and Epiphany are sometimes referred to as, “New Christmas” December 25th and “Old Christmas on January 6th.
February 2 (February 14 Old Calendar), is traditionally known as Candlemas Day, and it marks the end of the Christmas season.
Candlemas is a very ancient Christian feast day and is celebrated as the Presentation of Christ in the temple at Jerusalem. The day marks 40 days after the birth of Christ and honors the just and devout Simeon, who embraced the Christ Child and prayed,
“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”