…that today is Groundhog Day in the USA. February 2nd , a meaningless date in the UK calendar for most people of a secular nature, is actually Candlemas. That’s two reasons to celebrate the day and perhaps win a pint from your friends with your new found knowledge.
Candlemas Day was much more important in the Middle Ages and is associated with the purification of the Virgin Mary, It was also considered to be the day that shoemakers and other indoor trades would dispense with the use of candles during the working day until Autumn.
To complete the loop from Candles to Groundhogs, I have read a story that in parts of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire , Candlemas Day was also known as Badgers’ Day , in the belief that the supposedly hibernating badger woke up and came to the entrance of his sett on that day. If he found that it was sunny and he could see the shadow of his tail, he went back to sleep… where have I seen something similar about furry creatures? ( This would never happen in Mellor as our local badgers would be too concerned about missing food bin day )
Ask most people about February 2nd and they would not be able to link it to either Candlemas or Groundhog Day. Ask most people what Groundhog Day was and they would probably tell you it’s about Deja Vu and constant , inexorable repetition, or Deja Vu and constant , inexorable repetition….
This week has been Groundhog Day for:
- Queensland, Australia – just after they start to recover from floods, the worst cyclone in living memory hits them.
- The Arab World, echoing the collapse of Eastern Europe in 1989.
- Sky TV , with the launch of the Sky Atlantic Channel. At least we can look forward to some quality repeats of great TV such as Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and ER rather then endless episodes of Two Pints of Lager
- Jordan (or Katie Price) is getting divorced again. ( Those riots in Cairo were really about the lack of copies of this weeks OK magazine , rather than the opposition to a dictator )
- Not quite a “Groundhog Day” but something many would like to see happen to Virgin trains on a regular basis – read this story about commonsense fighting back here.
And if you are wondering about the somewhat odd title of this piece, well, you work it out and comment on it with your answer.