Groundhog Day

Alas! The groundhog saw his shadow today. It figures though, we haven't really had enough hard Winter yet for it to be time for Spring.

Here is a nicely written bit of groundhog lore I found and thought I would post....

"The transition of Candlemas and other ancient celebrations to Groundhog Day dates back to the time of the Roman conquest of Northern Europe: the Christian celebration of Candlemas was associated with songs like this one:

'If Candlemas be fair and bright
Come, winter, have another flight
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go, winter, and come not again.'

This practice of divining the weather on this day spread to Germany, and was brought to this country by some of its first German settlers, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch: hence the location of the most famous groundhog. Also, the groundhog (also known affectionately as a woodchuck) was not the original prototypical weather-divining creature: in Europe it was a hedgehog. But early American settlers were nothing if not adaptable, and so the local creature most closely resembling a hedgehog was chosen for this ritual. Like hedgehogs, groundhogs are no-nonsense, practical animals; the same can be said for bears and badgers, who were also associated with weather divination in European folklore. If a groundhog sees his shadow on the 2nd, some inner sense tells him it's not spring yet (does he feel the chill in the air most clear winter days have? or is the sunny day from an early thaw, which often presages a return to wintry weather?)--and he hightails it back to his burrow. Likewise, humans observe midwinter as a milestone, a moment which is on the cusp of change, between the harsh, cold winds of winter and the fragrant, sensual breezes of spring."--Pam Aloi