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Groundhog Day

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Groundhog Day Tradition

The month of February is of great importance to the people in the North which is quite clear through various traditions and rites prevalent in this part of the world for thousands of years.

Predicting the onset of the Spring had been a common practice even in the ancient times as much of the harvest yield was hinged on the change on weather.

The ancient civilizations would greet this time of the year by performing rites to the rising power of the springtime sun. And these rites were agricultural in nature and performed mostly by the farmers.

The earlier Romans in the pre-Christian era celebrated February 1 as the Feast of Lights. Lighted torches were carried in procession in a springtime rebirth ritual. The tradition witnessed a carryover in the Christian era and was glorified by linking it with Christ. For, what we celebrate as the Groundhog Day these days has since long been celebrated as the Candlemas across Europe.

A clear, sunny day on a Candlemas was one of the worst things that could happen. Fair conditions would bring at least forty more days of snowy, rigorous winter. On the other hand, an overcast and generally miserable Candlemas promised a fat and early summer.An old tradition was that Christmas decorations were taken down by Candlemas. Though it is still kept in some places, but for the most part it has been set forward to January 6, the day of Epiphany.

To leave them up longer was to invite bad luck. The plants were burned and their ashes along with the ashes of the Yule log, were cast upon the fields, giving the earth new powers to promote growth in the spring.

 
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