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!

43 thoughts on “Candlemas

  1. In Northern Germany it´s foggy and snow-rain-showers are announced. I think Winter will return within the next week. It´s only February ;). I am going hiking this afternoon. Nice weekend! Uta

  2. Those proverbs can be full of truth. I didn’t believe that, but last year in Britain the old proverb about St Swithun’s Day proved its worth. It turned out that it’s about the Jet Stream. I wonder which meterological reality the Candlemas proverbs reflect.

  3. I’m very much in favour in keeping with the old calendar of festivals. I’d not come across this particular set of weather predictions, so now I’ll squander a little more time and go and research the British equivalents. Thank you

    • Well, enjoy the crepes and let’s hope the bad weather bodes well – maybe spring is on the way? I shall read what Phil says in Pennsylvania later today!

  4. Rain in the south east of Poland, I just wish it were true and the winter was over; unfortunately the 10 day forecast tells a different tale, Although it’s rarely correct for more than a day 🙂

  5. Still waiting for sunrise, but it looks like a cold, clear morning…followed by more snow tonight. Not sure what’s going on in Pennsylvainia (for Phil) but our RI Rodent will his his shadow, most likely.
    (It’s also my grandson’s birthday 🙂 )

      • Hard to define “normal” weather anymore. Winters were much colder back in the dark ages when I was little! But last winter was so completely warm and many plants bloomed weeks ahead of schedule. This year is colder than last and plants are “teasing” us, making us anticipate their arrival this year–more fun actually. Have a good day. Susie

  6. The badger is wiser than we give it credit for! The sunshine has been beautiful today so I won’t rush to change the Winter duvet on the bed yet!

  7. It’s hot, hot, hot here in NZ – my garden could use some rain. Great post! Being a pagan, I celebrated Candlemas/Imbolc at this time when I lived in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s hard to get my head wrapped around the seasons being opposite here! 🙂

    • Most of the Christian festivals are rooted in pagan ones and surrounded by mystical sayings and predictions too. I bet there are some special ones where you live too!

  8. Wow I have a few in my yard that call this place home and I never saw them show their little faces then again mine know better it is WINTER and they are not pampered 🙂

    I learned a lot from your post thanks for sharing

    We went up the coast on a pretty ride yesterday. Up into Maine with flurries in the air and hundreds going from the 20 degree air to the 40 degree F waters of the Atlantic Ocean all dressed in wedding attire 🙂 yes we have a lot of strange but wonderful people who all did this for charity 🙂

    I SEE CRAZY PEOPLE warmer to just write a CHECK!

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