It’s Candlemas, two February:
The purification of Mary,
Saint Brīd and Imbolc
To those sheep-breedin’ folk
And our groundhog whose shadow is scary!
Yes I wrote that. There actually IS lotsa poetry, anncient annd modern, about Candlemas, and a noisome flood of feminist doggerel about Imbolc, and even a surprising amount of twee poesy about the Wakey Woodchuck. But my humble effort alone combines ‘em all. You’re welcome!
Blesséd Imbolc, Happy Candlemas, Happy Groundhog Day dear polymaths.
The Gramnica is the “thunder candle” of ancient Slavic pagan belief. Named after thunder itself (grzmot or grom, pronounced in the manner of Rock Auto dot com) it was a powerful tool for warding off lightning strike. In the event of a thunderstorm, you lit it and set it on the windowsill. The spirits of evil would be fooled into thinking that lightning had already struck that house, and so go elsewhere. You were also advised to cut a piece of the year’s gramnica and bury it in the middle of a field, to ward off lightning strike from the entire farmstead.
You guessed it - Poles to this day take a big candle to church on Candlemas to have it blessed. The Christian Candlemas has blended well with the ancient custom.
Love this! Thanks @jzdro .
I’ve read about the thunder candies, and also read that on Candlemas people were s’posed to try to walk to church carrying a lighted candle: if it didn’t go out on the way, the bearer would live another year.
I read after posting this that Candlemas is the end of Epiphany and, in the liturgical calendar, the period we’re now entering, before Lent, is called “Ordinary Time”. So to me that means time to celebrate the domestic, the sacred hearth, gestation, nursing…cue Imbolc—which ties in with the talismanic candles and with maternity via Mary . Hail Hestia! And regards to the домовой!