Friday, February 6, 2015

Groundhogs Day

Ever wonder where we get our traditional Groundhogs Day from? Here is some information on the origins of this nationally recognized day we all see year after year on the news stations:

Groundhog’s Day is more of a tradition than an accurate prediction of how much longer we will have to endure winter for. In fact, according to the records of Phil’s winter prognostications; the groundhog’s forecasting for the season is only 39% accurate.

The groundhog is also known as the woodchuck. The name woodchuck actually comes from an Indian legend of a groundhog called “Wojak”. Wojak was considered by the Indians to be an ancestral grandfather. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Interesting note: woodchucks CANNOT chuck wood. The groundhog eats green plants like dandelions, clovers and grasses in the wild.

On Groundhog’s Day, every year at 7:25 a.m. the groundhog appears out of its hole to make its prediction. It is kept in a heated burrow under a fake tree stump on a stage. It is fed dog food and ice cream in a climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library throughout the year and weighs a whopping 15 pounds! Sounds like one spoiled little woodchuck to me.

Groundhog’s Day has German origin and was originally called Candlemas day. When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought this tradition that originates in the pagan holiday of Imbolc. On this day it is recorded that the “Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back in for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”

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