How Ground Hog Day managed to find its way to “holiday” status is a mystery to most Americans.
My family tree has some Pennsylvania Dutch in it, so, you can imagine my interest when I learned that Ground Hog Day is a Pennsylvania Dutch (German) custom dating back to the 1700s.
For you trivia buffs, February 2nd also coincides with the Catholic Candlemas…But back to our burrowing critter…
Punxsutawney Phil, is a superstar these days. His appearance from his hole now involves social events, food, speeches and entertainment. Crowds of up to 40,000 in attendance have been known to gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, since 1886.
The earliest American reference to it was actually found in an 1841 diary of storekeeper James Morris (Berks County, Pennsylvania) :
February 5, 1841
Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.
This winter has, overall, been pretty mild, however the last two days brought us snow! One never knows what the weather usually holds. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what the Ground Hog had to say.
And there you have it.
Just my thoughts,