Hromnice is know in the English-speaking countries as the Groundhog Day, religiously also as Candlemas. It is celebrated on February 2.
The Czech name Hromnice refers to a special type of candles called hromničky. It used to be a celebration of the upcoming spring and the aim of the festivities was to secure protection from fire, storm and thunder (thunder – hrom). One of the customs was the consecration of the aforementioned candles which were placed on the window during the storms to protect the household from the element which caused a lot of damage and death.
It is not without interest that the church also calls this holiday “Presentation of Jesus at the Temple”.
A Czech proverb says: “Na Hromnice o hodinu více.” It translates as “One more hour on Candlemas” and refers to the fact that on this day we can already enjoy one more hour of daylight since the winter equinox. Although the truth is that in the Czech Republic the daylight is actually 80 minutes longer than on December 21.
Some families even preserve the tradition of keeping the Christmas tree and the nativity scene until this day.
Learn more about the Czech holidays right here.
Picture credit: Josef Lada