Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday

I had a hard time believing Punxsutawney Phil predicted a quick spring today while I shoveled out my car from underneath a fresh eight inches of snow. As my dad concluded, we'd been hit by "Snowtorious B.I.G."

But I really don't mind the snow ... and that's not even the point of this blog. Let's get back to Phil.

I love him.

Groundhog Day seems like such a pointless holiday, if you can even call it a holiday, but that's why I love it. It's a little silliness in the deep, dark of winter. I mean come on, a group of old men in top-hats (who call themselves "The Inner Circle") pull a fat, buck-toothed rodent out of a hole to see if he sees his shadow. Not to mention, little Phil is 125 years old and drinks a magical potion that adds  seven years to his life every year.

As you can tell, I've been doing my research about Groundhog Day. It actually stems from the German tradition of Candlemas and started with a hedgehog. The celebration even has its own website. Here are a few holiday facts:

  • There are more than a dozen groundhog celebrations across the U.S. and Canada. Phil is just the most famous. (I wonder if all their shadows concur?)
  • Nearly 40,000 people flock to Punxsutawaney to join the celebration every year.
  • Phil speaks "Groundhogese"

So why do I love all this craziness? Because it's crazy, duh! But for cereal, I love Groundhog Day because it's a nice break in the cold, dark winter. It gives us hope we'll see the sun and grass again. It's a break that everyone needs, which is why its been such a longstanding tradition. It brings us back to ties when nature was an important part of survival Not to mention groundhogs are pretty cute.

I also appreciate the "holiday" because it's not tied up in commercial garble. It's all about people coming together to watch a furry little creature. I like people. I like furry little creatures. Done deal. 

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