Today is Groundhog Day, not to be mistaken with the 1990’s comedy of the same name starring Bill Murray. Actually, since I brought that movie up, I highly recommend it, if you haven’t seen it. It stars Bill Murray (as I said) as a television news reporter who goes to a small Pennsylvanian town to report on their Groundhog tradition featuring a furry little guy called Punxutawney Phil. Murray’s character is a miserable asshole in general and treats everyone like they owe him a living. When he finally goes to bed in a small B&B, he awakes the following morning to the same day he just lived through. He keeps reliving the same day over and over until learning an important lesson and falling in love breaks the cycle. But I digress…
The actual “Groundhog Day” is a holiday observed in Canada and the United States every year on February 2nd. The holiday is intended to mark the first day of Spring. If the groundhog emerges from its burrow and sees its shadow, it’ll dash back inside its burrow to hibernate for another six weeks of winter weather. If the groundhog DOESN’T see its shadow and emerges, it’s supposed to indicate that the winter weather is over and the snow will begin to melt. It’s popular in a lot of communities in Canada and the US and are mainstream attractions that attract a ton of tourists in certain communities.
The holiday dates back to the late 1880’s in North America but owes its origins to European customs dating back to medieval times. The idea is that Spring comes when animals begin emerging from hibernation. How they decided to focus on a groundhog, I’ll never know. But in Canada, winters are longer, colder and harsher than they are in Europe, so most groundhogs in Canada need to be awoken from their slumber to make their prediction earlier than they would on their own. It’s all in good fun, of course. Although the tradition may have been rooted in what they knew in medieval times, logic and hard science have made way to better reasoning. But there’s no reason not to have fun with it. Happy Groundhog Day! ☯️
2 thoughts on “Groundhog Day”
My mistake here is expecting logic from a rodent and the people who use it to predict the weather, BUT… Doesn’t it seem backwards that if the groundhog has sunny weather and sees it’s shadow it’s more winter, BUT if it’s cloudy, overcast and there’s no shadow, it’s spring?
A prime example of the human condition haha
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