HAPPY GROUNDHOG'S DAY!
Groundhog's Day has never carried quite the same éclat as other holidays - indeed there are plenty out there who don't even consider it to be one, perhaps because so little fuss is generally made about it outside of Pennsylvania. To be fair, it isn't truly classified as a holiday, yet I've always viewed it as one, and adore the fact that we, rather preciously, employ a furry little critter to help determine if we're in for an early spring or another six weeks of winter.
Some people dismiss Groundhog's Day because of it's seemingly silly idea, but if you think about it, there's really nothing stranger about the idea of a rodent being able to predict the weather than there is of a rabbit delivering candy to children at Easter. And this year Punxsutawney will share the day with some little ole game being played somewhere in a bowl???
Groundhog Day is a day celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. Modern customs of the holiday involve celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held right here in Pennsylvania in Punxsutawney.
The celebration, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog.
I love Groundhog's Day, and hope you'll join me today with a nice gin and tonic and in the merriment and fun of this endearingly charming mid-winter tradition.
Happy Groundhog's Day, everyone -
here's to hoping that the darling little critter doesn't see his shadow! And we can say good bye to the Polar Vortex!!!! Although I do enjoy my calm candle lit nights.