Punxsutawney Phil is undoubtedly the celebrity who steals the spotlight each Feb. 2nd, but there’s another celebrity who’s been around much (much) longer with an occasion also worthy of celebration today.
Besides Groundhog Day, today is also Candelmas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the temple. It was an early episode in Jesus’ life in which Mary and Joseph took him 40 days after his birth to the temple in Jerusalem to have the redemption of the firstborn performed in accordance with the Law of Moses. Luke instructed the proud parents to take the option for people who could not afford a lamb, which was to sacrifice a pair of turtledoves or pigeons.
Once inside the temple, they saw Simeon the Righteous, who had been promised that “he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ,” and he prophesied the redemption of the world by Jesus.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, today is one of the twelve Great Feasts, also called Hypapante. Other traditional names for today include the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin and the Meeting of the Lord. In some churches, today is also the end of the Epiphany season.
Not feeling the woodchuck or religion today? For the sports fanatics out there, by all means, Happy Signing Day to you! May your alma mater sign the future football stars of tomorrow. Isn’t it nice that there’s a little something for everyone?
What are you celebrating today?