Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Here is some information about Groundhog Day, out of the westsidestory.net -
Each year on Feb. 2, thousands of revelers climb atop Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania., (northcentral part of the state) to witness the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog with the mythical ability of forecasting either an early spring or lengthier winter. With the help of his keepers and protectors, the tuxedo-clad members of the mysterious Inner Circle, Phil shares that prediction with the world from the region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds.
If Phil sees his shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter and returns to his burrow. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner. The first legendary trek to Gobbler’s Knob occurred in 1887. Crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob for a multiday festival celebrating the town’s most famous resident – Punxsutawney Phil. Background European Roots
The custom dates back to the early days of Christianity in Europe and grew out of a winter festival called Candlemas Day, a day for clergy to bless and distribute candles. According to legend, clear skies on Candlemas Day meant an extended winter.
The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, brought this tradition to the Germans, who concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, a hedgehog would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather or “Second Winter.”
In Germany, the hedgehog became part of the legend. The German twist was that on a clear, sunny day, the hedgehog would cast a shadow.
For a bit of humor, I am posting here a film clip from the movie "Groundhog Day." (yes - a hilarious movie) Now, the clip ends tragically, but do not be alarmed, becase the next day Phil wakes up again to a new day!