Did you ever spend time thinking about something and then find yourself down what some refer to as a mental rabbit hole? That is exactly what happen to me today when I went searching for some information on Groundhog Day and the Celtic/Pagan holiday of Imbolc.

Basically, my goal was to explain how the two celebrations share the same day but that they are two separate things. I was determined to deliver that angle. Turns out I could not be more wrong.

February First - Groundhog Day or Imbolc which is it?

In my search for information to share with you, I uncovered a video on YouTube from IrishMyths that not only spells out the two different events that are celebrated around the world starting on February 1st and rolling into February 2nd, but their explanation is so complete you actually have to watch it more than once.

IrishMyths via YouTube
IrishMyths via YouTube
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I have included the video below but basically, it is an eleven-minute explanation that is so thorough it leaves no stone unturned. I had no idea how many events and celebrations came together on one date. The shocker is if I listened correctly, it seems that all the different celebrations including something called Candlemas are all basically the same thing.

Both Imbolc and Ground Hog Day are Celebrated in New York

IrishMyths via YouTube
IrishMyths via YouTube
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Before you skip down to watch, let me boil down the meat of it. Basically starting February first we are halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. For us, in the Northern Hemisphere, the days will start getting noticeably longer. It is also a time when we can start thinking about spring and brace ourselves for the possibility of getting a few more weeks of winter.

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IrishMyths via YouTube
IrishMyths via YouTube
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In short, the Celtic celebration of Imbolc is a celebration of light and warmth returning to the land and honoring the Goddess Brigid. Apparently, this is older than Groundhog Day. However, back when Imbolc was a common celebration in Europe, it was a common practice on February 1st to check in with the burrowing wildlife, hedgehogs and such to see if they were out and about. If they were, it was thought that Spring was too far off according to how IrishMyths explains it all in their video.

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