Lent comes late this year, but it's not too early to start thinking about spring. In posting a Social Hour question about Groundhog Day, we had a reader point out that we can't really reflect on it without observing that it's also Candlemas; the two are inextricably intertwined:
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will have another flight; But if it be dark with clouds and rain, Winter is gone, and will not come again.
The phrase "Groundhog Day" has also, thanks to the 1993 film, come to mean an unpleasant situation that happens over and over again.
As Ann Davis Garmin writes:
Candlemas is, for Christians, the Presentation of Jesus. Candlemas is a pagan holiday as well -- Feb 1 is halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. You can tell the days are getting longer right about now!
This halfway-there date is a marker that Easter and spring are coming. Bill Dilworth writes:
Our parish custom is to bless the year's supply of candles on the Presentation, and this year we're also going to distribute candles to the congregation, so light is a big thematic element what with that and St Simeon's seeing the Light to lighten the Gentiles and the lengthening of the day.
How about you? Do you commemorate this halfway point with some kind of tradition in your parish? Do you mention the tie between the popular "holiday" and the feast day?