02
Feb
14

2.2.14 … Groundhog Day 2014 … This is the only Mammal to have a day named in its honor as far as I know. Why? Just what is the fuss about? …

Groundhog Day, history and origins:

This cute picture/cartoon is doing the rounds on FaceBook right now, which got me thinking about Groundhog Day. I’ve written about it before, but this seemed a good time to re-visit it, as we’ve had a harsh winter and the groundhog is supposedly able to predict whether spring is on its way. Judging from all the comments we hear and see in the media, and from our friends and family, locally and nationally, we in North America will all be rooting for this famous creature, and all his related friends, to NOT see their shadows and to call for an early spring. It’s been one of the colder and snowier winters in recent memory and we’ve added the phrase “polar vortex” to our vocabulary.

This year, the Super Bowl (an American obsession) is also on February 2nd, and will be strong competition for the groundhog tradition. But, the organizers are not worried and say that the groundhog prediction will happen before the Super Bowl begins. Very convenient!

This is the only Mammal to have a day named in its honor as far as I know. Why? Just what is the fuss about?

According to legend, if the Groundhog (also known as a woodchuck, a kind of marmot) sees its shadow when it leaves its burrow after hibernation, there will be 6 more weeks of winter weather. He will be afraid of his shadow and return to his burrow. But, if he does not see his shadow, there is a good chance that spring is on its way.

This legend goes back many centuries to the distant past when nature did influence people’s lives, such as helping farmers know when they should plant their crops. The animal tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with pagan Candlemas Day, which falls in the mid point between winter solstice and spring equinox. The Roman legions carried this tradition to the north, to the Teutons (or Germans) and to the English.

How accurate is Phil?

The National Geographic Society has said that the accuracy of the groundhog’s predictions is only around 28% over 60 years. His official website says it’s around 35%.

via Around and About with Viv | Come explore the world with me. Travel articles and musings from my backyard to exotic foreign trips. They’re in no particular order—just written and posted as the Muse visits..

Groundhog News

via Groundhog Day: Groundhog Day 2014 Updates!!.


1 Response to “2.2.14 … Groundhog Day 2014 … This is the only Mammal to have a day named in its honor as far as I know. Why? Just what is the fuss about? …”



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 630 other followers

February 2014
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
232425262728  

%d bloggers like this: