Candlemas (Lichtmess in German) is a day with many sayings attached to it. In Bavaria the farming year begins, the Christmas decorations come down, and forecasts for the coming season are made….

“If Candlemas Day is clear and bright, winter will have another bite. If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain, winter is gone and will not come again.”

Ist’s an Lichtmess hell und rein,
wird ein langer Winter sein.
Wenn es aber stürmt und schneit,
ist der Frühling nicht mehr weit.

Groundhog Day, famous in Pennsylvania for forecasting the onset of spring, was taken across the Atlantic by German immigrants.

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day (Wikimedia Commons)

The original animal was a badger, and the saying was:

Wenn an Lichtmess der Dachs seinen Schatten sieht, geht er noch einmal für sechs Wochen in seinen Bau.  

If the badger sees his shadow on Candlemas Day, he will return to his burrow for another six weeks.

(Apparently this is one of the most reliable weather proverbs!)

I somehow think Phil would not see his shadow here today… our snow melted within 24 hours on Wednesday, and since then we’ve had cloud, strong winds and rain. So hopefully “winter is gone and will not come again”!

What’s the weather like in your part of the world? If the sun is shining, beware – winter may yet return!