Feb 02 2013
Let your children know the history of special days or the reason for celebrations. God commanded His people to do this in Joshua 4:20-24: At Gilgal Joshua set up the 12 stones they had taken from the Jordan.  He said to the people of Israel, “In the future when children ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’  the children should be told that Israel crossed the Jordan River on dry ground.  The Lord your God dried up the Jordan ahead of you until you had crossed, as he did to the Red Sea until we had crossed.  The Lord did this so that everyone in the world would know his mighty power and that you would fear the Lord your God every day of your life.”
We are familiar with February 2 being called Groundhog Day. But did you know it is also called Candlemas? It is celebrated forty days after the birth of Jesus Christ. In Luke 2:22-35, it is recorded that Mary and Joseph took infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for the ritual purification of Mary after childbirth and in order to present their first born which was required by the Law of Moses. As they presented Jesus to Simeon, he prophesied: “Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of manyhearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34-35).
Celebration of Candlemas Day began by Roman Catholics with lighting candles and parading through the streets as a commemoration of the presentation of Jesus and the prophesy of Simeon. German immigrants known as Pennsylvania Dutch brought the tradition to America in the 18th century.
But where does Groundhog Day come in? Candlemas occurs half way between the first day of winter and the first day of spring. Ancient thought was that hibernating creatures were able to predict the arrival of springtime on this day. Traditionally, it was believed that if Candlemas was sunny, the remaining six weeks of winter would be stormy and cold. But if it rained or snowed on Candlemas, the rest of the winter would be mild. If an animal “sees its shadow,” it must be sunny, so more wintry weather is predicted.
So now you know and can tell your children. Be sure and read Luke 2:22-35 and tell in your own words about Jesus going to ‘church’ for the first time. Then just have some fun with groundhog crafts:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/groundhogday/popuphog/ (my personal favorite!) Sing this song Mr.-Groundhog when you finish this craft.