The origin of the peculiar Ground Hog Day! Also known as St. Bridget's Day, Candlemas, Candlelaria, Snowdrop Festival, The Festival of Lights and the Festival of the Virgin. All Maiden Goddesses are honored at this time.
It marks the center point of the dark half of the year. It is the season to prepare for growth and renewal. The first flowers begin to spring forth from the frozen earth.
The maiden is honored, as the Bride on this Sabbat. In the ole days, Straw Brideo'gas (corn dollls) were made from oat or wheat straw and placed in baskets with a white flower bedding. Young girls then carried the Brideo'gas door to door and gifts were bestowed upon them from each household. After the traditional fest, the older women made special acorn wands for the dolls to hold. They were then burned in the hearth fire and in the morning the ashes were examined to see if the magic wands left any marks as a good omen. The fires were re-lit and a besom (broom) was placed by the front door to symbolize sweeping out the old and welcoming the new. Candles were lit and placed in each room of the house to honor the re-birth of the Sun.
To honor this Sabbat we can create a beautiful alter to display from February 2nd all the way to March 21st. An altar cloth of white, pink, red, yellow, light green or brown is perfect. Select candles of one or two of these colors as well. Upon it we can place white flowers and/or acorns. An offering of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds along with a spiced wine or herbal tea. A beautiful way to remind ourselves how important the sun has been and always will be to our existence.