Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

When: February 2nd each year
Groundhog Day is celebrated in the U.S. each year on February 2nd. On this day in mid-winter, the groundhog awakens from a long winter's nap, and goes outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. This tradition is big on an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter's day. According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow (a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow (cloudy days), he plays around outside of his hole for a while. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. The Groundhog's Day tradition travelled long ways. It comes from German roots. German immigrants brought the tradition with them from Germany. As they settled in hills of Pennsylvania, they began the tradition of using the Groundhog to predict the the arrival of Spring. The tradition is based upon Candlemas, the day that is the midpoint between Winter and Spring. A famous Candlemas poems goes: If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again. Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the site of the annual Ground Hog event. Our little rodent friend (yes, Groundhogs are classified as rodents) is called Punxsutawney Phil. There are a few other "predictors" around the country, but they all pale in comparison to Phil's ability to predict the remainder of winter. For the Record Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times

4 comments:

Pat McDermott said...

Interesting, Roseanne. I didn't know the German history of Groundhog Day. After all the snow we've had, I think Phil was smart enough to predict an early spring whether he saw his shadow or not!

SherryGLoag said...

Interesting post. If he was in this part of the UK he'd have been hard put to see his shadow this morning, so let's hope that means today's wind is blowing our winter away. - Sadly it doesn't feel like it ;-)

Cheryl said...

I know I could sure use an early spring. My lamppost is almost buried with snow. After two days of storms and two days of the kids and their friends being here, some sun would be just lovely.

lionmother said...

I learned a lot about groundhogs from Groundhog Day, a movie that is based on Groundhog Day for an entire year or more.:) But this is still an interesting post. I hope we don't have any more winter. It has just gotten to me this year and I want it to stop.