Friday, February 3, 2012
Yesterday was "Groundhog" day and just like many people I tuned into my radio while having my breakfast. A critter similar to this one was going to predict the weather. I'm not kidding there are thousands of people who will take time to go to witness this event. One of our close friend and his wife travel to Gobbler's Knob, near Pittsburgh Pennsylvania every year to experience this event. They spend the night there and wake up wee hours in the morning to witness this little critters prediction. It's such a big event that organizer's wear tuxedos and top hats. To think that this whole celebration started with a superstition is amazing. According to the legend if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on "Candlemas" Holiday (it falls on February 2 in Christian calendar) there will be six weeks of winter. With the mild weather we're having here I 'm afraid that "Phil's" predictions are not very accurate for us but from what I read and see is that it has been a harsh winter in Europe so far.
Apparently this tradition started here in the United States in 1887 and it has never stopped but received more recognition after Bill Murray's "The Ground Hog Day" ( reporter who relived the day) just like our friends who went to Pennsylvania multiple times and watched that movie multiple times.... From what I understand other States hold similar ceremonies and every State has a big name for these critters. He is called Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, in New York he is Staten Island Chuck, in West Virginia he is French Creek Freddie, in Georgia he is General Beauregard Lee, in Michigan he is Woody the Woodchuck, in Ohio he is Buckeye Chuck. In Ontario Canada he is known as Wiarton Willie or in Nova Scotia he is Shubenacadie Sam.
Honestly, I will not travel anywhere to observe these critters' events. I have a whole family of woodchucks living under my tool shed and I call him "Chucky the Pestfamily". They eat all my vegetables and flowers and procreate so that we're never out of a family of woodchucks in the neighborhood. I'm considering whether or not to hold a "shadow watching" meeting behind my shed next year and if so, you're all invited to show up at 5:00 AM behind my shed at the "Holey Hill"