February 2nd is Groundhog Day in Canada and the United States. It is the one time of the year that a rodent becomes a respected meteorologist and predicts the continuation or the conclusion of winter. The event is widely televised and anticipated.
On February 2,1887, Groundhog Day was first celebrated at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if the groundhog (known as Punxsutawney Phil) comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If there is no shadow, that means the sun is shining and it predicts an early spring is on its way.
“Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The number of candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal - the hedgehog - as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.” (Source: History.com "First Groundhog Day")
Punxsutawney Phil has his own admirers, maybe even a Facebook page? These copycats predict the weather in other towns in North America, for instance...Birmingham Bill, Staten Island Chuck and Canadian Shubenacadie Sam.
In 1993, the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray popularized the term "Groundhog Day” to mean something that is repeated over and over again. The movie is hilarious and if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend that you do. You will never look at an alarm clock the same way again.
Each year on February 2nd, tens of thousands of people converge on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney to witness Phil's prediction. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts a three day celebration featuring entertainment and activities. Might this be an event you would want to add to your bucket list?????
Until my next inspiration...chao