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Ground Hog Day Print
Friday, February 02 2018 by  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Hits : 1037


Celebration of Groundhog's Day
Groundhog Day in the U.S. and Canada
-- a day to forecast the weather.

Since 1887, members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in western Pennsylvania have tried to note the first appearance of the rodent they call Punxsutawney Phil. If Phil comes out of his burrow into sunlight on February 2nd and spies his own shadow, he's said to jump back down underground -- dooming us all to six more weeks of winter. On the other hand, a cloudy Groundhog Day forecasts an early spring.

The groundhog's reputation as a weather prophet came to the U.S. in the mid-18th century with German immigrants. But this is really a very old holiday -- one that has its roots in astronomy. February 2nd is one of four cross-quarter days. It lies about halfway between a solstice and an equinox. Today's cross-quarter day was celebrated as Candlemas in England, where it marked the beginning of spring.

Try this old English rhyme -- "If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, winter will have another flight. But if it be dark with clouds and rain, winter is gone and will not come again."

Or here's another old saying -- "Half your wood and half your hay, You should have on Candlemas Day."

In Germany it used to be said that "a shepherd would rather see a wolf enter his stable on Candlemas Day than see the sun shine." A German badger was said to watch for his shadow. The National Geographic Society once studied the groundhog -- and found him to be correct only one out of every three times. One final note. It's supposed to be bad luck to leave your Christmas decorations up after today.



 

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