February 2 – Groundhog Day



It seems inevitable that I should celebrate this day…it just feels to big to ignore. As someone who lives in Australia (where, at the moment, is it the middle of summer) I find this holidays absolutely impossible to comprehend. It seems so strange and, well, totally pointless.

Groundhog Day falls on February the 2nd every year, and is based around the idea that groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) can predict the seasons. Totally. 100%. Scientific. Facts. There is a special, official groundhog – Punxsutawney Phil, who lives in Gobbler’s Knob, near Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania, although a lot of other U.S. states have adopted their own groundhogs for celebrations. Punxsutawney Phil has been predicting the weather for over 125 years. Suspicious you say? Hardly – they give him a magical potion each year to bestow him with a much longer than average life span.

The groundhog hibernates during the winter months of the year.The legend states that if the groundhog emerges from it’s burrow on February 2nd and sees it’s shadow, it will become frightened and return to it’s burrow, resulting in six more weeks of winter. Conversely, if it is cloudy the rodent will not see it’s shadow and will come out of hibernation, indicating spring is close by.
The traditional rhyme of this day goes:“If Candlemas be fair and bright, come, Winter, have another flight; If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, go Winter, and come not again”

Because Groundhog Day is such a serious, important event, not just anyone can organise it. The Inner Circle, which doesn’t sound cult like at all, is a group of local dignitaries who dress up in formal suits, bow ties and top hats and organise the event each year. The are also responsible for the well being on the celebrity himself, Punxsutawney Phil. It is said the groundhog tells his weather prediction secrets to one of the Inner Circle, who then translates it out of “groundhogese” into english.

How should you celebrate Groundhog Day? Well, according to the official website.
Believe. After all meteorologists are correct about 70% of the time. Phil is always right. To quote George Michael: You gotta have faith. Groundhog Day is growing every year because it has heart and soul. Come, meet strangers, sing, shiver and drink caffeine. It’s the best all night party in Pennsylvania.”

~ Darcie Rae

Info Links:
Facts about the day
About the holiday
Official Groundhog day webcast


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