Thursday, February 03, 2005

February 2 is the Day of the Groundhog

Scheisse! as the Kraut might say. Yesterday was Groundhog Day and for the first time in Superblog!!'s history, we missed drawing attention to it! I only just now noticed it and am trying to make amends with this post.

This seems to be a good site for comprehensive information and links to the various celebrations. Cause apparently the event takes place in a whole bunch of places. A lot of groundhog sightings seem to be inconclusive this year, but on the whole Shadow appears to have won a narrow victory.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, here are some answers from the FAQ of the Groundhog Club in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (which was the site of the celebrations in the excellent 1993 movie*):

Yes! Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just impostors.

There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 119 years!

Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking "groundhog punch," a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life.

On February 2, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob - in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of winter.

According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

No! Phil's forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2, he speaks to the Groundhog Club president in "Groundhogese"(a language only understood by the current president of the Inner Circle). His proclamation is then translated for the world.

The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."

Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800s. The first official trek to Gobbler's Knob was made on February 2, 1887.

*Though actually I seem to remember from the DVD's Director's Commentary (which mostly sucked! Harold Ramis, you're a boring old fart!) that they didn't actually film it on location. What a ripoff!

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