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The Library Remembers When...


From the Ipswich Tribune

December 29, 1927 edition


The idea of Ground Hog day seems to be of German origin. In Germany however, it was the badger that foretold the weather February 2. When the first Germans coming to America brought this belief with them, the common ground hog or woodchuck was adopted in place of the badger, because the latter was not so well known here. But the belief that the weather on February 2 predicts warm or cold weather for six weeks to come dates back to the fifth century, when the festival of Candlemas was established.

This festival is still being celebrated in the Catholic, Anglican and Greek churches. Other names for the festival are “The Purification of the Blessed Virgin,” “Christ’s Presentation at the Temple” “The Holiday of St. Simeon” and in some parts of England “The Wives Feast.”

On this day church candles are blessed.


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