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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

What is Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day always falls on February 2nd. This year it falls on a Tuesday but the day of the week does not matter for this holiday it is a set day. This year I hope it is cloudy and a bit rainy without sun. The groundhog will emerge from his home to decide what the weather for the next 6 weeks will be If he does not see his shadow then an early spring will come however, if he does see his shadow 6 more weeks of winter we will have.

Many will think of the popular 1993 movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray lived the day over and over again. Some others may creatively make a play on the day and host groundhog themed parties. There is one place where Groundhog day is taken very seriously. In Punxsutawney Pennsylvania Ground Hog parties take on a whole new theme.

February 1841 a Pennsylvania storekeeper named James Morris began the Groundhog Tradition which later would be adopted as a U.S. holiday. The editors of the Pennsylvania newspaper took not that Punxsutawney Spirit would be the groundhog spokesperson and meteorologist in 1871.

The groundhog is closely related to the squirrel family. Many are known as woodchucks as well. However it is the groundhog who is celebrated with an early morning festivals all over the U.S. There are partners of Phil the famous groundhog all over the place. It will be the groundhog who determines the rest of winter with the next 6 weeks being good weather or bad determined  by his shadow.

Groundhog Day Parties are great reasons to celebrate. Mardi Gras and the Superbowl are close to come but while we wait why not party with the groundhog in hopes that he does not see his shadow.


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