Candlemas! I like to light every candle in the house in honor of the growing strength of the sun. In the Roman Catholic church, this day is celebrated as the purification of the Blessed Virgin and the presentation of Christ in the temple. Candles are blessed by the priest and a candlelit procession is held, representing the entry of the Light of the World into the temple. This feast day also commemorates the prophesy and recognition of Christ by Simeon and Anna (Luke 2: 22-38). It was a tradition that all Christmas decorations must be removed by this day, as well, although I traditionally do that right after 12th Night.
The day is also the feast day of St. Brigid, originally celebrated by folks in ancient Ireland as a festival of the goddess Brigit and in honor of the beginning of Spring. It was traditional to create a dolly out of grain sheaves from the last harvest of the old year in order to promote crop fertility in the coming planting season. Brigit was the guardian of the holy well & flame, as well as a goddess of the forge so this is a good holiday for people who work with fire, like my blacksmith mama. I do have a wild woman blacksmith t-shirt that I will wear. Brigit was also the goddess of inspiration and poetry, so it's a great day to write or read poetry. My wife & cats like to have poetry read to them, so I will probably get out some Yeats or Dylan Thomas to read to them.
It is, of course, best-known in the U.S. as Groundhog Day. I will be hoping for a couldy day so that Spring might come more quickly, although I am quite enjoying Winter while I don't have to drive in it. In addition, I will be sending out happy anniversary wishes to Nola & John, my cousin & his lovely wife, who were married the same year we were and are celebrating their 6th anniversary.