Since my blog post falls on this strangest of holidays, I decided to delve into the history of this celebration.
The holiday had it’s origin in Germany in the 1600 century. The date marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. it was initially the time that bears woke from their hibernation . As the bear population decreased, the weather predicting animal changed to a badger.
When German and Dutch settlers came to North America, they brought their tradition to a native animal, The groundhog.
The tradition states if the groundhog sees his shadow he returns to his burrow and there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If the day is cloudy and the shadow is not seen, the prediction is for an early spring.
This holiday has been celebrated in Punxsutawney, PA. since 1886. A local newspaper is credited with starting the holiday.
Over the 130 plus years, there have many Phil and Phillis groundhogs as weather animals. The average lifespan of a groundhog is three years. No matter what the sex, the Punxsutawney groundhog has been named Phil.
Though this holiday is celebrated in many states and Canadian provinces, Punxsutawney groundhog day is the most popular.
In the last several years the appearance of Phil has been live streamed from Punxsutawney. Phil appears between 7:20 and 7:30 a.m. This is great for this year of social distance and no crowd gathering.
Can’t get up that early? You will be able to watch the video on You tube all day.
So from Europe to the North America’s new world, to a computer or t.v. near you, Enjoy a bit of our forefathers and mothers cultural superstitions.
A One Day Show
Time to awaken, get out again.
Day is dawning, climb out on the den.
The smell of humans, so much noise!
No wonder Phil retreats to the den much annoyed.
Copyright 2./2/21 Carol Farnsworth