Today is Groundhog Day in the U.S. Sounds like an odd holiday to have, doesn’t it? For those of you who aren’t familiar, Groundhog Day began as a Pennsylvania German custom during the 18th and 19th centuries, as supposedly predicts the arrival of spring. If the groundhog comes out of his hole and doesn’t see his shadow, spring is supposed to arrive early. If, however, he comes out and sees his shadow, he will retreat back into his den and 6 more weeks of winter will follow.
Obviously, this isn’t a scientific method, but it is fun to think about.
There are a few places in the U.S. that hold Groundhog Day celebrations, the largest and most famous of which is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with their famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. Today, Phil saw his shadow, predicting more winter to come. If my town had an official groundhog, he, too, would have seen his shadow. Great news for those of us who like winter and snow.
I found this German poem that sums up the day:
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.
Happy Groundhog Day!