For the past few years I’ve picked up The Old Farmer’s Almanac at the feed store in November for the coming year. It’s a bit of a lark, really. It normally sits on my nightstand, vying for space with the 6-20 books I am juggling at any one time. I find it a fun flip-through, a kind of pocket agrarian Wiki, that gives me a tiny something to think about before I turn out the light. I flipped through it Friday night and realized that, thankfully, Candlemas is on Monday. Candlemas, Groundhog Day, Imbolc: all three of these quasi-religious festivals overlay an important earth-based event. It’s the halfway (cross-quarter) point between winter solstice and spring equinox.
After a long winter like this one, I can see the need for a party, even if it’s only to celebrate the fact that we’ve made it through half the winter. Now raise a glass with me, will you?
*Interesting thing about Imbolc: this is the day that The Winter Goddess (Cailleach, an old woman) in Celtic lore would gather her firewood for winter. If it was sunny, then she’d have enough light to gather more wood, thus meaning the winter would be longer. Does that sound familiar?