If Candlemas be fair & bright,
winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas be cloud & rain
winter will be gone, and not come again.
Candlemas marks the time in the cycles of the earth half way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. For many cultures, this is considered the beginning of the new year. Candlemas has its ancient roots in Imbolc and is itself one of the roots of Groundhog Day. This is a day when we celebrate the returning light of spring. Daylight is noticeably longer despite the fact that winter remains. It is during this time of year that we are reminded that the cold earth holds within it a flame–the promise of spring and the warmth to come. We might even cautiously creep out of hibernation and see if spring is on its way. Just like the groundhog!
We had fun celebrating this week at the Little Round Schoolhouse. Each child rolled a beeswax candle for the schoolhouse. These will light our circle times for the remainder of the year. See our tutorial on rolling beeswax candles here.
We also took our old candles we use for blessing our food and melted them down into a new candle. We then decorated this candle with promises of spring. The children loved watching the old candle turn to liquid and magically reform into a new (identical!) candle. I personally enjoyed watching them decorate the candle with little seeds and baby plants. I found myself feeling such joy at the promise of spring. I am ready!
Each Wednesday we bake bread as a school community. This week we made sun pancakes. Sun pancakes are really just regular pancakes, baked while singing to the sun and then eaten under the sun. It was fun to hold our huge stack of pancakes up to the sun and sing, “Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me!”
At the end of our week, we made earth candles. Traditionally, these are dug directly into the ground. We decided to instead use flower pots so we could move our candles around.
We are waiting until a low wind day to light our candles. In the meantime, they provide a reminder that the flame of spring is being held within the earth. Soon, very soon, we will feel the warmth of the sun and the earth will be abloom again!