Candlemas Day
On Candlemas Day (2.02) the spine of winter had been broken "the other eye starts watering in the daytime" (Karksi). One-half of the food meant for people had to remain on Candlemas Day. All spinning had to be finished by Candlemas Day. It was not allowed to spin or do any kind of wool work on that day otherwise the sheep would be sickly and in summer the wolf would visit the herd. Actually, all chores were banned. In Southern Estonia it was allowed to sew with each stitch the women were sticking the wolf’s eyes." In Western Estonia Candlemas Day was considered to be a women’s holiday. Men did the work, but "women went dancing in the tavern, wearing their neck ornaments (Kirbla). All hired help were given the day off. Candlemas Day was also the day of paying wages, dismissing the previous help and getting new help. "At the breakfast table the head of the household would say: "Eat meat! Those that wanted to leave did not eat the meat; those staying ate the piece offered." (Karksi). The meal on Candlemas Day was a side of a pig. Candlemas Red (vodka dyed red with burnt sugar) was also drunk, so that flies and gnats would not pester people in summer. If Candlemas Day was clear, a good summer was expected. A rainy Candlemas Day would forecast a rainy summer. If ice was cracking from the cold on Candlemas Day, it was believed that there would be thunder on St. James’s Day.

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