So, I knew Groundhog Day was also called Imbolc (my Irish is terrible) or Candlemas. But I never knew about the whole "Purification of Mary" aka "The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple" Sunday feast day, until recently.
I love the idea of Candlemas, and how it fits into the Solar Calendar - it's the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. Handy, right? The "baby New Year" born at the Winter Solstice, is growing.
February 2nd is 40 days after the Winter Solstice, and so, according to Jewish Law, Jesus would be of the right age to take to the Temple for Presentation, and Mary would have ended her "confinement".
It's just so handy how these ideas mesh together. And helpful to me. I like celebrating of the passage of time in the change of the seasons. It makes more sense to me. Feels more real, more tangible.
I like to make a big deal out of Groundhog Day. That way we remember that Spring WILL come. The darkest days are over. I bet Mary was psyched to get out of the house too. Even if the Temple was just down the block, to be out and about after delivery and all the adjusting that has to happen with a new baby - PLUS royal house-guests on Epiphany - it's a lot! She sure was a trooper. Having also given birth in December, I can tell you, it's no picnic.
We'll see tomorrow what Phil says, but Spring WILL get here!
P.S. Doesn't that chartreuse gown on the lady behind Mary look fabulous!?