Friday, February 3, 2012

Ground Hog

Yesterday was Ground Hog's Day, where people all around the U.S. and Canada look to a large ground squirrel to predict the weather for the remainder of the winter. So how did this furry rodent get the job of predicting the weather? As with many of our modern holidays Ground Hogs Day can be traced back to a pagan festival, one that celebrated the beginning of spring in this case. When Christianity spread across Europe the pagan holiday became Candlemas, a celebration of the presentation of Jesus at the holy temple. In some parts of Europe people believed that a sunny Candlemas meant 40 more days of winter weather. In Germany they took it further and determined that a day was sunny only when rodents, such as badgers would see their shadow. When German immigrants came to the US they brought their tradition with them. In 1987 in the town of Punxsutawney they held the first official Ground Hogs Day celebration. The Punxsutawney Ground Hogs Club traveled to Gobbler's Knob where the first ground hog saw his shadow. Yesterday Punxsutawney Phil, the current rodent prognosticator, saw his shadow also, meaning six more weeks of winter. Before you get all depressed though you should know that the ground hogs predictions have been correct less then 40% of the time which is only slightly better then your average meteorologist.

9 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

laughing at your ending line. :) your varmint is a cute one!

Denise said...

Love the photo and loved that ending line too. Great post!

Pat said...

But the ground hog is much less annoying!
Cute little critter!

heyBJK said...

We're supposed to have 6 more weeks of winter, but we haven't had much of a winter to begin with.

Kay L. Davies said...

"only slightly better" LOL
Cute photo, though.
K

Teresa said...

They might not be great at predicting the weather, but they are cute!

Mama Zen said...

He's so cute!

SquirrelQueen said...

I like the "only slightly better", that sounds about right. He is cute.

Crafty Gardener said...

Up here in Ontario, Wiarton Willy, the local groundhog predicted an early spring. Now is the groundhog a meteorologist or a rodent? It just adds a bit of fun in winter.