Happy Groundhog’s Day

Hey, Groundhog Dayers!

Hey, Groundhog Dayers!

As you may have heard at least a couple times today, today is Groundhog Day, so get used to things happening happening with double the pleasure and double the fun! Let me repeat that: double the pleasure and DOUBLE the fun! Happy Groundhog Day, Everybody!

For anyone familiar with the classic film, Groundhog Day, you’re already aware of a portion of the day’s history. The movie revolves around this holiday in which Punxsutawney Phil, a Pennsylvanian groundhog (also known as a woodchuck) comes out of his hole to see if he casts a shadow or not. If he does, it means six more weeks of wintry weather. If not, then he predicts an early spring.

Bill Murray also finds himself in a seemingly endless, inescapable loop of reliving the same day over and over again. But that’s a whole different story. Bill Murray also finds himself in a seemingly endless, inescapable loop of reliving the same day over and over again. But that’s a whole different story.ground hog

In any case, to get to the bottom of this holiday you have to go way back. The tradition of Groundhog Day officially started 127 years ago in 1887. Local newspaper editor Clymer Freas is credited with the creation of our current celebration.

However, this 127-year-old piece of history is just the tip of the Groundhog Day iceberg.

See, there’s actually something rather meaningful about the date of Groundhog Day, February 2. It’s the halfway point between the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) and the spring equinox (when day and night are equal length). Thus, this date (with or without groundhogs) has been celebrated for thousands of years as a show of our anticipation for spring.

Originally a Pagan celebration, Christianity turned it into Candlemas. A sunny Candlemas predicted 40 more days of chilly winter weather, or so the Christians believed. It wasn’t until the Germans put their spin on the holiday, claiming that a day was only sunny if a badger could see its own shadow. Immigrants from Germany brought this tradition along with them when they settled in Pennsylvania.

But the native groundhog (also known as a woodchuck) became the new forecaster. Happy Groundhog Day, Everybody!

 

Sincerely,

John

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>