Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2nd: Groundhog's Day

Punxsutawney Groundhog

The History of Groundhog's Day:

Source:  Wikicommons
Groundhog's Day is celebrated in Canada and the United States on February 2nd each year.  They watch their favourite groundhog on this day.
If it is cloudy, it will come out of his burrow and, tradition says, spring will start soon.  If it is sunny, it will see his shadow and scoot back into  burrow for six more weeks of winter sleep.
When German settlers arrived in the United States in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day.  Candlemas Day came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  Superstition told that if the weather was nice on that day, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold.  These settlers first celebrated "Groundhog's Day" in Pennsylvania.
For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter.  A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home.
The weather continued to be important to the early Christians.  If the sun came out on February 2, the day halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.

From USA:
(tune of I'm a Little Teapot)

I see a little groundhog, furry and brown,
He's popping up to look around.
If he sees his shadow, down he'll go.
Six more weeks of winter - oh, no!

From England:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

From Scotland:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.

From Germany:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

And from the United States:

If the sun shines on Groundhog Day;
Half the fuel and half the hay.