Happy Groundhog Day!
2020 Groundhog's Day
Date When Celebrated : February 2 each year
News Flash! Groundhog's Day, February 2, 2020: Put another log on the fire. Don't bring out the gardening tools quite yet. In Gobler's Knob, PA. today, will the ground hog Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? If he does the prediction is that there will be six more weeks of winter!
Groundhog Day is celebrated in the U.S. and Canada each year on February 2. On this day in mid-winter, the groundhog awakens from a long winter's nap, and goes outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. This tradition is big, on an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter's day.
According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow (a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow (cloudy days), he plays around outside of his hole for a while. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner.
The Groundhog's Day tradition travelled long ways. It comes from German roots. In the early 1800's, German immigrants to America, brought the tradition of predicting winter weather on February 2. In their native Germany, they used Hedgehogs to predict weather. As they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, they began the tradition, using the Groundhog to predict the the arrival of Spring. The tradition is based upon Candlemas, the day that is the midpoint between Winter and Spring. A famous Candlemas poems goes:
"If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again."
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the site of the annual Groundhog event. Our little rodent friend (yes, Groundhogs are classified as rodents) is called Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making this annual winter prediction since 1887. There are a few other "predictors" around the country, but they all pale in comparison to Phil's ability to predict the remainder of winter.
For the Record Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times
Punxsutawney Phil is not the only one to come out on February 2 to make a prediction on when winter will be over. He is by far the best known. Others include:
- Buckeye Chuck in Ohio
- General Beauregard Lee in Georgia
Unwrapping Some Fun Stuff to Check Out about Groundhog Day
A Book for You
Authored by Susan t. Pickford
Illustrated by Mary Dunn Ramsey
* Ages: 3-8
* Grade Level: PS-3
* Hardback: 32 pages
* Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
* Pub. Date: January 15, 2020
* Language: English
Griffin is a very special little groundhog Mother Nature chooses for an extraordinary responsibility—awakening the other animals to welcome spring. His friends are awed by Griffin’s courage and some of them warn him about the wolves and weasels that may be waiting for him when he tries to complete his task. So when Griffin ventures out of his burrow one sunny day in late winter, he encounters a horrible image in the snow and scurries back inside. Though he’s frightened, Griffin is also worried about letting Mother Nature down. He finally gets up his nerve, faces the outside, and runs right into spring!This delightfully illustrated full-color book offers an entertaining way for children to celebrate Groundhog Day.
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