I’ve seen the movie Groundhog Day, made little groundhog cards and banners in elementary school, and cast my vote 22 years in a row for the early arrival of spring, but I still have absolutely no idea how Groundhog Day actually works. I totally understand the purpose and validity of National Margarita Day – yum – and International Pillow Fight Day is just pure fun! Why is a confused groundhog worth celebrating? I always assumed that the folklore or weather prediction had to do with the specific behavior of the groundhog, not the clouds overhead. Now that I have spent some time googling, I actually feel rather silly that it took me this long to figure out. I have never attended a Groundhog Day ceremony, so I always imagined that they take a grumpy, blindfolded little groundhog out of his winter den and spin him around in circles. Then they put him back in his little hole, take off the blindfold, and watch him come out. If he comes out facing the giant lightbulb to his right, then he would theoretically not see his shadow and predict spring, and if he comes out of the hole facing to the left, he would see his looming shadow and predict winter. Apparently it’s actually a question of cloudy or clear skies and there is no lightbulb involved. Well, geez – I definitely think I can do that! In honor of shadowing Phil the Groundhog in his moment of glory, I walked outside to discover a densely clouded sky. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find a shadow, much less see my own! Does that mean that I predict an early spring? I can seriously get behind that. I guess it’s not too hard to do a groundhog’s job after all! Happy holidays.
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