Today we celebrate Ground Hogs Day. It’s also Candlemas which somehow is related. Ground Hog day was started in Germany apparently, coming to America in the 1800’s where it is celebrate every year on February 2nd, telling us whether winter is over or will extend later into year. In Pennsylvania (Where the Germans mainly settled) the Ground Hog is called Punxsutawney Phil. If he sees his shadow then winter will continue, if he does not, winter is over.
There is a poem that supposedly explains it.
If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight, if Candlemas brings clouds and rain, winter will not come again.
Phil isn’t the only ground hog though. Ohio has Buckeye Chuck and Georgia has General Beauregard Lee.
How to celebrate – Go see Phil, Chuck or Lee. Celebrate winter! Enjoy Spring.
Will there be six more weeks of winter or will things finally start heading towards spring? It all depends on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not. If he sees his shadow we will experience another 6 weeks of winter. Apparently he sees his shadow 9 out of every 10 times!
The use of the ground hog to find out about the coming weather is a German tradition going back to the use of a Hedge Hog in Germany somewhere in the early 1800’s. It fell in line with Candlemas (which is also celebrated today), the last day of the Christmas celebration.
Punxsutawney Phil has been a tradition in Pennsylvania since 1877 but the ground hog does not really predict winters end (but you probably knew that already). What does matter is whether it’s a sunny day or a cloudy day. If it’s a sunny day, he will always see his shadow. If he sees his shadow, it’s another six weeks of winter.
But it’s okay if you want to believe Punxsutawney has magical powers or not. We also believe in Santa (though St. Nick was real), we believe a black cat crossing our path is bad luck (I still don’t know why), and that there is a man in the moon.
How to celebrate – Wake up and find out what Phil has to say! Celebrate Candlemas. If Phil sees his shadow, go out and play, if he does not, go back to bed.