The Feast of Flames on a cross-quarter day

A cross-quarter day is halfway between two solar events (solstice or equinox). Today seems to be just about between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.

What I know for sure is that February 2 is the French holiday La Fête de la Chandeleur, also known as Candlemas.

- 40 days after Christmas
- established by a pope in the 400s to Christianize a pagan festival honoring Pan

The Christian church commemorates two events on this day:
  1. the Purification of the Virgin (a new mother could not go back to the temple until forty days after giving birth)
  2. the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
called "Hypapante" ("The Meeting") in Greek b/c the baby Jesus was met at the temple by Simeon the Righteous, who'd been told that he would not die before meeting the Messiah

old English song: "If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go, Winter, and come not again."

German saying: "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May."

So that is why we make a big hullabaloo over Punxsatawney Phil on Groundhog Day.