Most of the holidays observed on February 2 are a way of celebrating that we are half-way through winter. Choose one of the below unusual holidays, investigate it further yourself, and write a story around it. Except for Sled Dog Day, there appears to be a lot of information available on each one of them.
Candlemas, the last holiday of the Christmas season, is the midpoint between winter and spring. It is also the festival of the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. During the time when Christ was born, a woman was considered “unclean” for 40 days after the birth of a son and 60 days after the birth of a daughter. She was not allowed in the temple during this period. Once the time was over, she was brought into the temple and purified in a ceremony. This day celebrates the day that the Virgin Mary was purified after giving birth to Christ.
Crepe Day or La Chandeleur is the French version of Candlemas. Besides commemorating the purification of Mary, they cook and eat many, many crepes. There are many proverbs and sayings that the French have just for this day. They include “On Candlemas, winter ends or strengthens” and “Dew on Candlemas, winter at its final hour”.
Groundhog Day is a holiday I know everyone has heard of, but I still think it is kind of unusual. Probably the only reason it is known so well is that it gives everyone something to look forward to on an otherwise bleak and dreary winter day. On this day, the groundhog supposedly awakens from his winter nap to to climb up and take a peek outside. If he sees his shadow (and this will always happen on a sunny day), then he turns around and goes back in his den to sleep because it means there are six more weeks of winter to endure. If he doesn't see his shadow (and he never will see it on a cloudy day), then he play around outside for a while because spring is just around the corner.
On this day, all eyes are on Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Will he see his shadow or won't he?
Marmot Day is an Alaskan holiday. There are no groundhogs in Alaska, but there are marmots. To be honest, I had no clue what one of these animals was, but I found out that a marmot is a member of the squirrel family and very closely related to the groundhog. I wonder if this creature can predict the weather any better than a groundhog?
On February 2, Groundhog Job Shadow Day, thousands of workers will have a shadow watching them at their jobs. Who will this shadow be? It will be young people who are interested in learning how to do that particular job. This is the day that allows young people to shadow a person who works in the career field that they wish to become involved in – scientist, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, lawyer. Whatever vocation they want to learn about, this is the day to do it, as long as that work place is celebrating this holiday by participating.
February 2 is also Hedgehog Day. Did you know that the hedgehog was the animal originally used by the ancient Romans to try and predict the end of winter? Hedgehogs just aren't indigenous to America, so he was replaced with a groundhog. There is one other difference – the Romans watched to see if the hedgehog saw his shadow under a clear moon at night.
Imbolc is the pagan's version of Candlemas and Groundhog Day. It marks the day that is half-way through winter and means that spring is on its way.
Sled Dog Day - This holiday is listed as occurring on February 2 of every year, but that is all the information I could find about it. If you decide to include this unusual holiday in your story, you get to decide why it is a holiday and how it is celebrated.
World Wetlands Day - On this day in Ramsar, Iran, the Ramsar Secretariat provides materials to government agencies, groups of citizens, non-governmental and conservation organizations so that the public can learn the value and importance of wetlands are.
If you know of any more unusual holidays that are celebrated on this day, why don't you visit the forum and let us know about them? Maybe the holiday you tell us about will be one that a writer wants to work into their story>