Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day

Today, February 2, 2010

Punxsutawney Phil, ace forecaster emerged from his tree stump burrow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see his shadow. Thus, there are six weeks more of winter to look forward to.



photos displayed are current for today's emergence of Phil, the groundhog




But is that all there is to it? 


No.

According to German folklore of the Pennsylvania region, higher temperatures trigger hormonal changes in the testosterone levels of male groundhogs, which wake them from hibernation and send them out with other males to do battle for mating rights. So, they're not looking for their shadows. They're looking for amorous lady groundhogs.


February second is also known as Candlemas Day or the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, the day Mary first came to the temple for ritual blessings following the birth of the infant Jesus, and celebrated since the Middle Ages by the sacramental lighting of candles.  Hence the old Scottish couplet which long predates the American groundhog tradition: "If Candlemas dawns bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."


And then there is they cynic's view of this proud day in Punxsuatawney. That of a pitiful spectacle.
"With one nod from a filthy rodent best known to pest control agencies, a moribund old coal mining hamlet turns magically into the Lourdes of Pennsylvania, Mecca to thousands of people who, if they hated the winter so damned much, why don't they move to Florida, anyway?" - Groundhog Day (The Movie)

4 comments:

Teresa said...

*UGH* Six more weeks of winter. That really sucks. No more snow or frigid temperatures.

WoFat said...

I think the six weeks has already started, here in North Alabama. Bloody rodent.

Opus #6 said...

Thank you for researching this. I will see Groundhog Day in a new light from now on.

The Watcher said...

Is it my imagination, or does the guy holding Phil look a lot like Bill Engval?

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