Groundhogs Day. The town we live in does not have anything special for that day. When I was a kid I remember hearing about groundhogs and how they predicted the length of winter. One teacher even put on one of those ceremonies where they watch for the groundhog. I thought it was exciting. I had heard that there were towns where the kids got to miss school because they were all watching for their groundhog. I never put much weight into the entire thing.
My children were deprived of believing in the groundhog holding any stature over how long winter will last when they watched a children’s show about animals. In it they learned that the groundhog comes out in search of other burrows that are near by. If there is a female nearby he will then go to her burrow and finish his sleep there. In the words of my kids “He’s looking for a wife!”
Animals can predict weather. Pay attention to how thickly homes are made and how early and you get an idea of what winter will be like. Watch how your pets behave before a storm hits. They know. Animals have a way of knowing. So I do think at some time using a groundhog or some other animal as a point of reference to how much longer it would be until spring was how things were done. Now, it is simply a fun tradition.
I found this poem about Groundhogs day, that I will leave you with.
This poem comes from Scotland, I could not find who had written it or when just that it was tied to the origins of what we now call Groundhogs Day.
If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be two winters in the year.
If Candle mas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.