Groundhog Day

February 2 is Ground Hog Day. Ground Hog Day is a popular observance in the United States and Canada.

According to tradition, if February 2 is clear and the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its den, it becomes frightened and recedes back for another six weeks signaling the persistence of winter for six more weeks. If February 2 is cloudy, the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, and winter is over for the year.

It is part of a large body of weather lore, but studies have found no consistent correlation between the weather on February 2 and the arrival of spring-like weather.

February 2 is also Candlemass or the day Jesus was presented in the temple. Many churches bless the candles that are to be used the upcoming year symbolizing Jesus, the Light of the World. It is 40 days after December 25 and the end of the Christmas season.

German, French, and English weather lore rhymes say that if Candlemass fair, winter will be prolonged.

“If Candlemas Day be fair and bright Winter will have another fight

If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain Winter won’t come again”

Groundhog Day is celebrated in perpetuity in the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.

If you want to watch the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club celebration, you can do it virtually through this link.

Image by RusticPix .com from Pixabay


  1. Something about your comment is confusing. Christmas Season ends on Epiphany (the 12 Days of Christmas) while Advent Season ends on December 24. So it is correct that Candlemas is “40 days after Christmas” but it’s not the end of the Christmas Season.


    • I composed much of this post from what I gleaned from Wikipedia, which is hardly an excuse. But the big W called Candlemass the end of the Christmas-Epiphany season, whatever that may mean. It also said “Christians in some countries to remove their Christmas decorations on Twelfth Night (Epiphany Eve), those in other Christian countries historically remove them after Candlemas.” And there is some historical premise for continuing the Christmas season until Candlemass. Robert Herrick (1591-1674) has a poem entitled Ceremony Upon Candlemas Eve in which he describes taking down Christmas decorations., like you, confirms that Epiphany is the end of the Christmas season but also says “the feast of the Presentation of the Lord does stand very prominently and is considered a “Christmas feast day.”

      I take my holidays with a grain of salt. I truly appreciate your comments, because I want to be factual. And actually I had second thoughts about writing that Candlemass was the end of the Christmas season. But my years of writing these posts has taught me that almost all holidays have a historical reference point with a lot of popular culture piled up on top. We take Christmas decorations down on January 5th (or 6th) because that’s when we’re sick of them. The countries that historically remove them after Candlemass probably have more resilient evergreens, less danger of fire hazard, or less to do between January 6 and February 2.


      • Thanks for your reply. Very thorough, you did your research! I still stand by my comment. Callin Feb 2 the end of the Christmas season is stretching it. Though in a COVID year, I don’t mind letting it run as long as possible. I still have my Christmas tree up. I mean… I put it up EARLY for next year.


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