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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Groundhog Day!

By Carrie Hulce

Curiosity got the better of me today, so I decided to do a bit of research on Groundhog Day. I wanted to see what facts I could find. I know that this isn’t about some great writing find, but, I thought it would be something fun to share with all of you. Who knows, maybe some of this information could be helpful for one of your wonderful stories.

I figured I would start off with the most famous Groundhog of all Punxsutawney Phil, that wonderfully lovable Groundhog that we hear about every year on the news. Heck, he’s famous enough, why not give him top billing. They even have a website for him. I wondered what information I could dig up about this interesting Holiday... So many questions were running through my head, I didn’t know where to begin.

First, I wondered about the life expectancy of a Groundhog, and come to find out a normal Groundhog only lives about 8 years. Good ol’ Phil has been around for 120 years, supposedly, he is fed a special elixir every year to help keep him going strong and looking young. Hey let me have some of that! Maybe I’ll get a little energy out of it.

From ancient times, we relied on the flora and fauna around us to let us know what was happening with the seasons, from this the time of year, between the winter solstice and the spring equinox was a time to watch for all, if certain animals such as the ground hog came out and saw their shadow, then more winter was on its way, which as many of you now was predicted for us. As the centuries passed this time of year became know as Candlemas Day, during this time, the pastors and priests would bless candles to pass out among the community to help light the way for the dark winter still ahead, to also bring good luck to the farmers for the future planting season ahead.

Around the mid 1700’s when the Germans settled in Pennsylvania in the Punxsutawney area, the Candlemas tradition was brought with them, they had explained to other settlers that if the Groundhog saw his shadow there would be 6 more weeks of winter, and thus, Groundhog Day was born.

Today, it is amazing at how everyone may celebrate this time of year differently. Many people now travel to see the famous Gobblers Knob to see the most famous of Groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil. How neat it would be to see him pop his wee head out of the hole look about then say, “To heck with this, it's still nap time for me.” What a life and what a great job. Don’t ya think?

This research made me think about the stories that are deep inside each and every one of us, and without the many talents of so many of you very creative and wonderful writers the tales such as Phil’s wouldn’t be around to share.

Just in case you would like to share some cute tales and maybe create a special tradition with your little ones, or heck, your little ones’ little one, I have found a couple of really cute books to share. You can find them at Amazon. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we do.

Groundhog Day! By: Gail Gibbons

Substitute Groundhog By: Pat Miller

The Groundhog Day Book of Fun and Facts By: Wendie C. Old and Paige Billin-Frye

Go to sleep Groundhog! By: Judy Cox

Happy Writing! And Reading!

1 comment:

  1. So, what happens if he doesn't see his shadow? I know it's still cold here. No instant spring. LOL


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