The Big Boss at 990WBOB asked me to write a piece on Groundhog day. At first, I was like, what even... what about it? Is that even a thing anymore? Are we talking about the classic Bill Murray movie, what?
Because it makes no sense to trust a groundhog to predict our weather, right? Why would anyone come out to see this?
On February second, thousands of people flock to Pennsylvania, the sight of where it all began for America, to see a groundhog emerge from its whole. The tradition was started by the Germans and brought over here in 1887, with the original animal forecaster being a hedgehog, Like Sonic. Which is something I might turn out for because Hedgehogs are just amazing. Anyway. When the Germans came to America, they started using groundhogs because I guess Pennsylvania in the 1880’s were super plentiful.
Groundhog day, like many other holidays, has ties to Christianity. The ancient christian clergy would pass out candles that people needed for the cold winters. How long the candles burned was how long the winter was supposed to last, representational. Now though, it’s a day where people wait for a groundhog named Phil to come on out and tell America if Winter is going to last 6 more weeks or not, based on if he sees his own shadow. Why are we trusting an animal who isn’t guaranteed to see his own shadow ?
Because if you think about it, the reason people go out to watch animals is because it's the simple things that were lacking on today. In a world filled with mass shootings, Bill cosby getting caught for some serious stuff, wearable technology, cell phones, all the complications in life, people want to go back to the simple things.
And, turns out, that is not a bad thing. If leaving your home with your whole family to go to a groundhog day celebration, if that is what it takes for you to bond and feel close, who am I , or anyone to judge?
Groundhog day is a day to take it slow and celebrate the little things. There should be more basically pointless holidays to celebrate! More reasons to celebrate little, wired animal things and time with each other. Groundhog day is just one more little reason to put the cell phones down, forget about all the negative in this world and just be happy for a little while.
Yea, let’s do more of that.