Thursday, December 21, 2006

In the Holiday Mood

I offer one of my Christmastime guilty pleasures:

It's worth a look just to see the '80's hair, and to see how much Sting looked like Francis from Malcolm in the Middle.

And obviously, Band Aid begat USA for Africa:

Watch it just to see if you can identify everyone in it.

And because I know the audience here includes masochists, a link to Allah's take on the Star Wars Christmas special.

But you know what, if it's Christmas, I always think about Groundhog Day:

Umm... I have no reason why.

Back to the top.


Philo-Junius said...

You obviously think about Groundhog Day when thinking about Christmas because Groundhog Day is the modern, secular descendant of Candlemas.

Candlemas is the day commemorating the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple as the firstborn son of Mary, and Mary's purification after childbirth. As the last feast on the calendar dated from Christmas (following the Nativity by the Torah-mandated 40 days), Candlemas traditionally marked the end of the Christmas season, and was the day by which Christmas decorations were supposed to be put aside in anticipation of Lent:

by Robert Herrick

DOWN with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and misletoe ;
Down with the holly, ivy, all,
Wherewith ye dress'd the Christmas Hall:
That so the superstitious find
No one least branch there left behind:
For look, how many leaves there be
Neglected, there (maids, trust to me)
So many goblins you shall see.

The Editor at IP said...


I knew it was something like that.

The Editor

Philo-Junius said...

Candlemas turned into Groundhog Day because, as the last day of the Christmas season, it became a traditional day of omen for the upcoming planting season. In Germany, it became folk wisdom that clear, cold weather on Candlemas augured continuing cold weather through Easter, while clouds or rain signalled the advent of Spring.

The folk saying in Germany then was, that if the sun was bright enough for a hedgehog--the animal in Germany which hugged the ground most closely--to see his shadow, then winter and its clear cold skies would persist. When Germans began migrating to America, which has no hedgehogs, the German settlers in Pennsylvania transferred the folk wisdom to the groundhog.

And now you know...the rest of the story.