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The Groundhog and the Candle

Posted by Bryan Mendez 2/2/2018

February 2nd is celebrated in the United States as both Groundhog’s Day and Candlemas, or Dia de la Candelaria in Spanish. Both celebrations have their roots in astronomical events.

Candlemas (Dia de la Candelaria) is a Christian celebration of the presentation of Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, commemorating Mary's ritual purification after her childbirth. Following ancient Hebrew tradition, this took place 40 days after Jesus was born. Therefore, Candlemas is now celebrated 40 days after Christmas (Dec 25) on February 2nd. Some people do not remove Christmas decorations until this date, as it marks the end of the Christmas season.

These dates are where the first astronomical connection comes into play.

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