Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ground Hog Day

     In America, February 2nd is known as Ground-Hog Day, an American tradition that supposedly predicts when spring will arrive. According to legend, the ground hog, also called the woodchuck, awakens from its winter sleep on February 2 and emerges from its burrow. If the sun is shining that day and the ground hog sees its shadow, it will be scared back into its den, and there will be six more weeks of winter. But if it is cloudy and the ground hog does not see its shadow, it will come out, and spring will arrive soon.

      For hundreds of years, European farmers had similar traditions that involved bears, badgers, and other animals. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania brought the custom to America. The ground hog, which is plentiful in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, became linked with the custom. The custom is partly based on ancient and traditional weather signs. People have long looked to the awakening of hibernating animals as one of the first signs of spring.

     February 2nd is also known as Candlemas Day, a festival to celebrates the presentation of Christ in the Temple. This festival was to be a replacement of a pagan candlelight ceremony celebrating the return of light and like Ground Hog Day, British rhymes incorporate the belief that the weather on Candlemas Day indicates the weather of coming weeks.

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
But if it be dark with clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.

     While many people look forward to spring this time of year, winter in Northern Minnesota has the tendency to stick around regardless of the today's weather today, so let's just enjoy it.
     Dear Lord, Thank you
  • For Winter and all that comes with it

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