That said, Candlemas was superimposed on an ancient feast day which celebrated the coming of spring. There are stories of the goddess, Brigid (not to be confused with Saint Brigid, but I do anyway) and loaves of bread, buried in the first furrow of the field dug in preparation for the coming planting season. The Christian holiday has to do with the Feast of the Presentation, when Mary, having been delivered of a male child, was "purified" after forty days, and Jesus made His first appearance in the temple. It is also the halfway mark between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. There is no mention anywhere of a meteorologically precocious rodent, with apologies to Punxatawny Phil.
So tomorrow the rest of the Christmas decorations come down, right on time according to ancient traditions. Or maybe I'll just throw the circuit-breaker until around April, because let's face it..whether Phil sees his shadow or not, it's still winter out there!