Friday, February 02, 2007

History of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring. However, how did the groundhog ever come into prominence with a holiday which celebrates its power to predict the future? Check out a history here.

Quick Summary:
  • The holiday is mid-way between the Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox.

  • The original celebration was the Roman Hedgehog day.
  • German folklore introduced the concept of more or less winter.
  • The hedgehog has been replaced with the groundhog in North America.
  • The Christian tradition of Candlemas which celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the temple was placed on the day to displace pagan celebrations.

  • My $0.02: Though the holiday is silly, animals can be quite perceptive. The ancients were wise to observe their behavior.

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