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That Stupid Rodent…..

February 2, 2009

Phil saw his shadow – 6 more weeks of winter.

Here are some interesting facts taken from the official site of The Punxsutawney Groundhog.

We have been celebrating Groundhog day as a country since 1886. Since then Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has seen no shadow 14 times and there was no records 9 times. (Stats include this year.)

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather. Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

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