The sight of the sun on February 2nd is a mixed blessing, according to Punxsutawney Phil and the tradition of Groundhog’s Day. This time of the year is associated with purification, fertility, and light, celebrated in ancient times by Greeks, Romans, and Celts, as well as Christians in later times, with large feasts honoring spirits, saints, and the Virgin Mary. The word February etymologically stems from Februa, meaning purification or expiatory rites. It is of unknown origin, but perhaps stems from the Sabine, an ancient Italic people (Source).
In the second week of February, the ancient Romans held Lupercalia, a spring purification festival aimed at warding off evil spirits and preparing for spring. Imbolc, a Gaelic celebration, was held on February 1st, the midway point between winter solstice and the vernal equinox, heralding the onset of spring, and including divination of the weather to come. Candlemas on February 2nd, has a layered history and goes by a variety of names in the Christian church, but like the other festivals was a celebration of light (blessing of candles) and purification, specifically in honoring Jesus and Mary.
Additionally, for many cultures throughout history, the day is believed to be an indication of the weather and planting season to come. The tradition was brought to America by Germans who initially looked to the hedgehog, and subsequently in America the groundhog, to foretell the weather.
“For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.” (Source)
So in honor of these ancient traditions, groundhogs everywhere, my birthday (!), and the CASology challenge “AND”, I decided to put together this little greeting:
Darling, don’t you think? I absolutely love this combination of stamps, of which the “groundhog,” logs, and swirl are wood-mounted rubber from Memory Box. My groundhog is lightly shadowed with Copic E40, and the logs are colored with E13, E15, E19, and E47.
The sentiment’s font should look familiar to many, it being the popular Milo’s Alphabet from Lawn Fawn. And what do you think of that amazing ampersand from the PTI set, Grand Ampersand? Perfect little shadow, and complement to the font, isn’t it?
Since this card was made for a client as a thanks for a birthday gift, the inside has a greeting of gratitude. But other versions I am working on say “Wishing you a Happy Groundhog’s Day” inside.
Here is an initial version of the card below:
At this time of the year, I use Don Freeman’s fabulous book, Gregory’s Shadow with many of my early readers. It is a delightful story filled with gorgeous illustrations.
Interested in learning more about Groundhog’s Day? You can check out these sites:
AND last but not least, have you seen the classic, Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray? Here’s a little clip, if you’ve not, or if it’s been awhile.
Although I love February 2nd, I certainly wouldn’t want to be doomed to repeat it over and over like Bill. Once a year is quite enough for me, what with that whole getting older aspect… then again, if I were stuck in time, would it mean I wouldn’t age? Hmmm…..
Here’s hoping your day is delightfully different from the last and that spring makes its way to you soon, if you are in a wintery clime! My body is already registering the days of longer light, and 6 more weeks of winter or no, I will take all the sun I can get!
Head over to CASology to see what additional fun is happening there over and over and over again!