Groundhog Day Facts
I know this is a little late, but before the Ground Hog saw his shadow this year, the weather was amazing. I remember it being +10 and I saw residents in shorts and tee shirts walking around outside. That all changed with the ground hog on Tuesday February 2nd, 2016. Depending on which ground hog you watch, the outcome changes.
Every year millions of North American’s wait with anticipation for a little furry rodent to poke his head out of a hole or released from his cage, in hopes he does(n’t) see his shadow, depending on how you feel about winter. If he see his shadow it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter, if he doesn’t then Spring is just around the corner. This means that there is only 6 weeks left of winter and Spring is just around the corner. Have you ever wondered why this is done? or how it even started? It may be a little late, but here are some interesting things I discovered about Ground Hogs and Ground Hog day. Number #1 will shock you. Click below to read more.
*10. Groundhogs, otherwise known as woodchucks, are rodents. They are one of the few animals that do truly hibernate throughout the winter, often building special winter burrows for their winter sleep.
9. The legend goes that when the groundhog comes out of his burrow from hibernation, he will look for his own shadow.
If it is sunny and he sees it, he will take fright and go back into his hole. Winter will then carry on for another six weeks. If it is cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will arrive early.
8. The tradition began in Pennsylvania in 18th and 19th centuries. Based in ancient European weather lore where badgers were used to predict the length of winter.
7. The legend of Groundhog Day has been spotted in two old British songs. In a Scottish couplet, it says: “If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”
In an English song: “If Candlemas be fair and bright, come, Winter, have another flight; If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, go Winter, and come not again”
6. Every year on February 2, all across North America there are early morning festivals to watch the groundhogs emerge from their burrows. Punxsutawney holds the biggest Groundhog Day celebration in America, while Wiarton Willie has the biggest crowds in Canada.
5. In some areas there are German-Pennsylvanian Groundhog Lodges that hold big parties with traditional German food and skits. Pennsylvanian-German dialect is the only language allowed – if you speak in English you have to pay a small fine as punishment.
4. The most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil, who has apparently been making predictions in Punxsutawney for over 125 years. Residents say that Phil is given a magical potion every year to give him long life.
3. The chosen groundhogs are kept in electric-heated burrows, and are said to utter their prediction in ‘groundhogese’ which is then ‘translated’ by a representative.
2. The groundhogs are looked after by the Inner Circle, which is a group of local dignitaries who are responsible for carrying out all of the Groundhog Day celebrations. They traditionally wear formal dress, including top hats, on Groundhog Day.
1. The accuracy of the groundhog predictions is a matter of dispute – some residents say that the rodents are accurate up to 90% of the time, whereas some studies say they are accurate only 35% of the time.
*The top 10 list is courtesy of http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/top-10-facts-about-groundhog-day-1563568*
** Picture is courtesy of http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/groundhog-day-2016-predictions-conflict-1.3429994**