There seems to be more weather sayings and lore regarding what will happen on Candlemas (the 2nd of February) than any other day of the year I reckon. Here are some that I’ve copied and tried to separate (not easy) from the third edition of the book Weather Lore – a collection of proverbs and sayings compiled by Richard Innes and published in 1898. As you can see the Groundhog day event in Pennsylvania probably originated in Europe, most likely Germany. Of course it’s all dependent on where you live and the weather conditions on Candlemas itself what meaning, if any, you get out of these old sayings and proverbs,
Foul weather is no news ;
Hail, rain, and snow
Are now expected, and
Esteemed no woe ;
Nay, “tis an omen bad.
The yeomen say,
If Phoebus shows his face
The second day.
(Country Almanack for 1676).
On the eve of Candlemas Day
Winter gets stronger or passes away.
Snow at Candlemas
Stops to handle us.
At Candlemas [February. ]
Cold comes to us.
Candlemas Day! Candlemas Day!
Half our fire and half our hay !
On Candlemas Day
You must have half your straw and half your hay.
On Candlemas Day
The good goose begins to lay.
Candlemas brings great pains.
At Candlemas Day
Another winter is on his way.
If Candlemas Day be fine and clear,
Corn and fruits will then be dear.
If Marie’s purifying dale,
Be cleare and bright with sunnie raie,
Then frost and cold shall be much more
After the feast than was before.
If Candlemas Day be fair and clear,
There’ll be twa winters in the year.
You should on Candlemas Day
Throw candle and Candlestick away.
As far as the sun shines in on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow blow in afore old May.
The hind had as lief see his wife on the bier,
As that Candlemas Day should be pleasant and clear.
If it neither rains nor snows on Candlemas Day,
You may straddle your horse and go and buy hay.
The shepherd would rather see the wolf enter his fold on
Candlemas Day than the sun.
Should the sun shine out at the Purification (or churching of
the Virgin Mary), there will be more ice after the festival than
there was before it.
When on the Purification the sun hath shined.
The greater part of winter comes behind.
As far as the sun shines in at the window on Candlemas Day,
so deep will the snow be ere winter is gone.
On Candlemas Day, just so far as the sun shines in, just so
far will the snow blow in.
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
But if Candlemas Day bring clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and won’t come again.
If Candlemas Day be mild and gay,
Go saddle your horses, and buy them hay ;
But if Candlemas Day be stormy and black
It carries the winter away on its back.
Good weather on this day indicates a long continuance of
winter, and a bad crop ; on the contrary, if foul it is a good
(Isle of Man)
February 2nd, bright and clear.
Gives a good flax year.
If Candlemas Day be dry and fair.
The half of the winter’s to come and mair.
If Candlemas Day be wet and foul,
The half of the winter is gone at Yule [Christmas].
After Candlemas Day the frost will be more keen,
If the sun then shines bright, than before it has been.
On Candlemas Day the bear, badger, or woodchuck comes
out to see his shadow at noon : if he does not see it, he remains out ;
but if he does see it, he goes back to his hole for six
weeks, and cold weather continues for six weeks longer.
If the groundhog is sunning himself on the 2nd, he will
return for four weeks to his winter quarters again.
The badger peeps out of his hole on Candlemas Day, and
when he finds snow walks abroad, but if he sees the sun
shining he draws back into his hole.
At the day of Candlemas,
Cold in air and snow on grass :
If the sun then entice the bear from his den,
He turns round thrice and gets back again.
As long before Candlemas as the lark is heard to sing, so
long will he be silent afterwards on account of the cold.
Gif the lavrock sings afore Candlemas,
She’ll mourn as lang after it.
As lang as the bird sings before Candlemas, it will greet
On Candlemas Day, if the thorns hang a-drop.
Then you are sure of a good pea crop.
If a storm on February 2nd, spring is near; but if that day
be bright and clear, the spring will be late.
If it snows on February 2nd, only so much as may be seen
on a black ox, then summer will come soon.
If on February 2nd the goose find it wet, then the sheep will
have grass on March 25th.
When drops hang on the fence on February 2nd, icicles will
hang thereon March 25th.
When the wind’s in the east on Candlemas Day,
there it will stick till the 2nd of May.
When it rains at Candlemas, the cold is over.