Saturday, January 29, 2011

Groundhog Day, February 2

This fellow looks to be well fed....he may not come out on February 2nd.
And just where did this strange custom come from involving groundhogs and weather predictions?  You will find your answer here:
Candlewax and Hedgehogs – Groundhog Day by Fr. Stephen

If I were a groundhog, I think I might go for this look when someone came around wanting to roust me out of my nice warm burrow at the beginning of February.
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And why is February called that anyway?  It is named after the Latin term februum, which means purification, via the purification ritual Februa held on February 15 in the old Roman calendar.   Also, January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar, since the Romans originally considered winter a month-less period. 
Anglo-Saxons called it Solmonath or mud-month.  I can relate to that.  While the northern part of the country gets snow, here on the Gulf Coast we get rain.  
And in case you need something to celebrate this month besides Groundhog Day or Candlemas....
St Brigid’s Day: February 1, Ireland
Imbolc: February 2
St Theodora the Empress (867): February 11
Abraham Lincoln's birthday: February 12, United States
Valentine's Day: February 14
Flag Day of Canada: February 15
Presidents Day (United States, third Monday)
International Mother Language Day: February 21
George Washington's birthday: February 22, United States 
Saint Aethelberht (Ethelbert), first Christian King of Kent: February 24
Eyes of winter: February 24
Black History Month (Canada and United States)
National Bird-Feeding Month
The Flower for the month is viola or primrose and the birthstone is amethyst, one of my favorite gems.

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