Well, it’s almost Groundhog Day. And that means if the little critter sees his shadow there’s only six more weeks of winter. Or is it if he doesn’t see his shadow there’s six more weeks of winter?? I always get confused.
But anyway … With much of the country in a deep, deep, deep freeze, any thoughts of winter being over and done with works for me! It’s been ridiculously cold in many parts of the country.
So let’s hope for an early spring as we await the “official” word from our groundhog friend.
Did you know that Groundhog Day marks the halfway point to the spring equinox? Here are some other facts about the day and the little guy himself, from The Old Farmer’s Almanac (almanac.com):
- According to legend, if a groundhog sees its shadow on this day, there will be six more weeks of winter; if it doesn’t, then spring is right around the corner. But, as the Almanac says, “If he sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter; if he doesn’t, it’ll be six weeks till spring” because, of course, the dates of the equinox do not change.
- Groundhog Day also represents “the triumph of spring over winter—and birth over death.” Originally, this was a Celtic festival marking the cross-quarter day, or midpoint of the season.
- The Christian church later called this festival of light, “Candlemas.” The English name refers to the candles lit that day in churches to celebrate the presentation of the Christ Child in the temple of Jerusalem.
- In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought their Candlemas legends with them. Finding no badgers but lots of groundhogs, they adapted the New World species to fit the lore.
- The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck or whistlepig, typically makes its home in the brambles and thickets that grow where forests meet fields. There, it digs burrows between 4 and 6 feet deep and up to 40 feet long—removing as much as 700 pounds of dirt in the process.
Now if you’re curious about the long-range weather forecast in your area of the country, check out this page on The Old Farmer’s Almanac’s website: www.almanac.com/weather/longrange
Stay warm my friends! And have a great weekend. And go Rams!