Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I forgot to post about Candlemas yesterday



Groundhog Day - Mariä Lichtmess (2. Februar)

The American tradition of Groundhog Day has roots going back to Germany and other European countries. February 2 has long been the date of a religious observance known as Candlemas, or Mariä Lichtmess in German. The following Bauernregeln are also related to the second day in February:

When it storms and snows on Candlemas Day,
Spring is not far away;
if it's bright and clear,
Spring is not yet near).


In Germany, the day has also been known as Mariä Reinigung, das Fest der Darstellung des Herrn and Mariä Kerzenweihe. The latter name (Kerze = candle) is related to the English "Candlemas" name and the tradition of blessing both sacred and household candles on Feb. 2. Up until 1912, Mariä Lichtmess was an official holiday in Germany. The Roman Catholic church has celebrated the feast day of Candlemas since 1960.
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(My humble thoughts:)
This day is also observed as Brigid and Imbolc.
Many Catholic holidays have a parallel holiday in various mythologies and ancient religions.
Since I consider myself a believer influenced by New Age and psychologists like Jung but raised in the Catholic tradition I don't have a problem with intertwining. There are many names and shapes of holiness, many ways to worship, which cannot be disputed, because how can you dispute faith? We can only be judged by our actions. Do they bring good or evil, love or hate into this world? The scale of our lives' meaning and how well we live our faith.
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Winter turns to Spring

The holiday of Candlemas

, also known as Imbolc, falls

on February 2nd. The ancient

Celtic goddess Brigid was

honored on this day, and even

after she was absorbed into

the Church as St. Brigid

, celebrations for her changed

very little from their Pagan

roots.

The name "Imbolc" has it’s

name derived from the Gaelic

“oimele” which means “ewes

milk.” This major Sabbat lies

opposite Lammas, and

represents the very beginning

of spring. This festival is for the

Maiden, her renewal and has

strong roots with the festivals

for the Irish goddess Brigid

. The name “Candlemas” is

from the adaptations of rites

for the Virgin Mary that the

European churches held at the

same time of year.

The plough is an integral part

of Imbolc ritual, this being the

earliest time of year in Europe

to begin ground breaking or

preparations for spring

planting. Some cultural groups

decorated ploughs or held

processions around the fields.

Seedlings for early spring

planting can be started indoors

at this time.






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