Things to Be Happy About #21: Groundhog Day!
If you read my stories, you know that I always post something for Groundhog Day. This year is no different, although I am adding it to my “Things to be Happy About” stories. Groundhog Day 2023 is the 21st story in the series. Groundhog Day is always on February 2nd. If the groundhog sees his shadow we could have 6 more weeks of Winter. But if he doesn’t, we could enjoy an early Spring. Scroll to the bottom of this page and I’ll update you after “ Punxsutawney Phil”(my favorite celebrity groundhog) sees or doesn’t see his shadow.
What Are Groundhogs?
Groundhogs are part of the marmot family. They’re commonly known as groundhogs. However, they’re also known as woodchucks, ground pigs whistle pigs, Canada marmot, and a bunch of other names. They make burrows and will eat many commonly grown vegetables. This clearly well-fed groundhog is eating someone’s tomatoes.
Groundhog Day History:
Groundhog Day has its origins in a European tradition. The wisdom is that if a hibernating animal (actually, it was commonly a hedgehog) casts a shadow on February 2nd (Candlemas Day) then winter will last another six weeks. The legend states: “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May” If no shadow is seen, there will be an early Spring.
When German settlers came to Pennsylvania way back when they continued the tradition of Candlemas Day. But they substituted the indigenous groundhog for the hedgehog. The charming tradition lives on, not just in Pauxatauny PA but around the country!