Today is Candlemas Day

Candlemas day is Christian Holy Day. I learned about it when I was a kid in Maine because on the farm it’s time to check on how the wood and hay is holding out, based on this old saying:

Half your wood and half your hay, you should have on Candlemas Day.

This saying does have a basis in astronomy, from here; it’s cross-quarter day, a day about midway between a solstice and an equinox.

There is of course also this one:

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.

Which is the basis for today being the day of the humble groundhog, called a woodchuck around here.

Also google tells me it’s Imbolc, a Gaelic festival.

Going to be a football game on TV today as well.

I don’t have any hay but my firewood pile is looking good.


Well happy Candlemas Day then.

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I wonder if they made allowance for the change to the New Calendar (Gregorian Calendar) that Britain enacted in September of 1752.** :wink:

**Gregorian calendar differed from the Julian by eleven days when Britain made the change (Catholic countries had done so in 1582). Last century and this one it’s thirteen days – the change amounts to three days every four centuries.

Today’s date is also an eight-digit palindrome: 02022020. The last such palindrome date to occur was 11/11/1111 – more than 900 years ago. The next will occur on 12122121 and then 03033030.


They did—Feb 2 is the old date, Feb 28 the Gregorian. And there is also a note that if it falls on a pre-Lenten Sunday, it is celebrated on Feb 3…

That all sounds like a mess to figure out but the important thing is it is celebrated with crepes, and that sounds good.

The Feast of the Presentation, aka Candlemas, won’t be celebrated for thirteen days yet in Old Calendar churches. But when it is, it will still be on February 2. All the calendrical feasts fall on the same nominal date in either calendar. It’s the lunar feasts, Pascha (Easter) and things related to it that can differ drastically, because the New Calendar Orthodox churches still use the Julian calendar for calculating the date of Pascha.

This has done some violence to the order of services, which in the straight Julian calendar repeat verbatim every eight hundred-some years (832?). The most glaring discrepancy is the Apostles’ Fast, which begins on a lunar date and ends on a calendar date. Under the bastardized New Calendar the Apostles’ Fast can sometimes have a negative length.

But I was just talking about how much wood and hay you should have left when the marker date jumps a couple weeks. :wink:

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I think the marker must be the cross-quarter day. The wood and hay rhyme was apparently popularized from Thoreau’s Journal

…Thoreau’s Journal: 1-Feb-1857

Down railroad.

Thermometer at 42 degrees. Warm as it is, I see a large flock of snow buntings on the railroad causeway. Their wings are white above next the body, but black or dark beyond and on the back. This produces that regular black and white effect when they fly past you.

A laborer on the railroad tells me it is Candlemas Day (February 2d) to-morrow and the winter half out. “half your wood and half your hay,” etc., etc.; and, as that day is, so will be the rest of winter

Presumably the rhyme came later, perhaps before it was “half your wood and half your hay, you should have on cross-quarter day”.

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Today at Catholic mass we celebrated Candlemas. Each Candle Mass is pretty much the same at our church. The priest tells us it’s been roughly 40 days since the Christ Mass (Christmas) & it’s time for Candle mass. The sermon covers the theme of “welcome” & welcoming people. We also bless the candles & at the end of mass the priests & deacons bless members of the congregation with candles if they want to stick around. When receiving the candle blessing they use 2 large candles tied together, shaped like a cross or X to put under your chin touching your throat/neck. The blessing is supposed to protect your breathing, mouth, nose & throat. Our church does mass in English, Spanish, Polish, Vietnamese, Latin & Tagalog. I haven’t been to all of them on Candlemas but I hear each language/nationality has a slight spin on it making each unique from the others. Tomorrow is Saint Blaise Day & I think somehow Candlemas & Saint Blaise Day are connected but not quite sure.

Happy Candlemas Day to all. It’s cold, flu & Coronavirus season so take care of your mouth, nose & throat.

Well, according to Doctor Sheldon Cooper there are 23 sphincters in the body so take care of them all.
Obviously, if there are 24, then you are talking out of the last one.
May your God go with you.

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