Archive for Weird in Pa

Groundhog Day

Posted in Culture, Current events, In Pennsylvania with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by Mj Rains

Yeah, so we live in Pennsylvania, and the half of us think this is such a stupid thing…though it makes one wonder how a day, which is not a holiday that celebrates a country’s liberation, a religious saint, a religious holiday, a famous person who changed world, nor a President, could actually exist…and honor a rodent no less….but here we have it in western PA, Groundhog Day.

I’m not sure if this is a nationwide celebration, or if anyone from other parts of the world know of this holiday…strange. Perhaps Katie can let us know if you guys down under have ever heard of this furball, Punxsatawny Phil.  These top-hatted dudes get up way before sunrise in Punxsatawny, Pa,  and hoist the sad little creature from his well cared for domain (meaning cage) and see if he sees his shadow.  How does one know if the rodents sees his shadow?  It is a mystery, a mysterious mystery that only handler John Griffiths is keen to I’m sure. I’ve heard that the 14 members of Phil’s club are the ones that decide our mysterious fate.  If the rodent see his shadow, we get 6 more weeks of winter, if not, an early spring is forecast.

This Pa tradition is based on an old German superstition that if a hibernating animal comes out on Feb. 2, a holiday called Candlemas, and sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter.  Well, today, February 2, 2011, Phil officially did not see his shadow, which could be due to the rain, sleet, and snow, and constant cloud cover we are experiencing today due to that double wammy storm.  Very mysterious….

In any case, I love animals in general, and even though I call him a rodent, I think he’s darn cute.  I think these stupid top-hatted guys are pretty cool anyway, and admire the tradition, strange though it is, which is perhaps why I admire it, and all those people who fight the cold and weather and come out in wee hours of the morning on this one day a year, without liquor mind you, it’s a dry celebration by law, and see Phil make his appearance.  What can I say? I love the weird in Pa.

And, this means we get spring in a few weeks!!

Ah, fat chance people….

Love the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. Very funny, and brought fame to this strange little sort of kinda almost holiday.

Peace…and Happy Groundhog Day.

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