I can’t believe that every year we put all our hopes on the prediction of a rodent. I mean really, who started this idea that if a groundhog sees or doesn’t see his shadow it predicts how the rest of winter will go? Well, I was curious, so I did a little reasearch.
It seems that Groundhog Day orginated from German settlers who settled in Pennsylvania. It is based on their celebration of Candlemas (or Candle Mass) Day. Candlemas Day was to commemorate the day that Jesus was presented in the temple as a child. Now, I’m not sure how the Pennsylvania Germans decided that this was a good day to see if the neighborhood groundhog was going to come out and see it’s shadow. After all, in the bible, there is no mention of a groundhog at the presentation in the temple. So, who and why this tradition was actually started, remains a mystery to me. Here’s an article from Wikipedia that talks about Groundhog Day and Candlemas Day. (Which wasn’t extremely helpful in giving me an actual person to blame for this silly holiday!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day
I have not, nor ever will rely on the predictions of an obese squirrel-like rodent, especially since many of his relatives like to make giant holes in my backyard. Spring will come when it wants to. In the meantime, I’ll start looking at the seed catalogs I get (even though I don’t have a garden) and dream about warmer weather as I snuggle up with a hot cup of tea and try to stay warm.
Smile away, little strange man holding a groundhog. You know very well you don’t really believe Phil’s prediction either! (Honestly, I don’t really know of anyone who does believe it!)