Sunday, February 3, 2008


Yesterday was Groundhogs Day in the US. This is also Candlemas in the traditional church calendar and Imbolc in the Celtic calendar, the first day of spring in a calendar that begins the seasons between the equinoxes and the solstices instead of on them. This makes the summer solstice midsummer and the winter solstice mid winter. I always used to wonder why winter would start on the day when the light started to come back and summer begin on the day we begin to loose the light. Made no sense to me. Then I discovered the old Celtic calendar where spring begins the first of February with Imbolc, Summer on May Day or Beltane, fall on Lammas, the first of August, and winter on Samhain, which we now celebrate as Halloween. It is more of an agricultural calendar as this time of year is when the ewes start lambing, and there is enough light for the chickens to really lay again and we notice that the greens that have just sat there all winter are starting to grow again. It is the lengthening of the days that makes the difference. You can see a change right now, it's light longer and the angle of the sun has begun to change. And packets of seeds are arriving in every mail. We begin the farming year again.

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