Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Happy Groundhog Day from Stedman, NY
How Did the Groundhog Get a Day of His Own?
The lowly groundhog, often called a woodchuck, is the only mammal to have a day named in his honor. The groundhog's day is February 2. Granted, it's not a federal holiday; nobody gets off work. But still, to have a day named after you is quite a feat.
How did the groundhog come by this honor?
It stems from the ancient belief that hibernating creatures were able to predict the arrival of springtime by their emergence.
The German immigrants known as Pennsylvania Dutch brought the tradition to America in the 18th century. They had once regarded the badger as the winter-spring barometer. But the job was reassigned to the groundhog after importing their Candlemas traditions to the U.S. That is why it is in Pennsylvania the number one weather hoggie is Punxsutawney Phil.
This is Stedman Phyllis.
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