As a kid growing up in the 1960s in New York, Ground Hog Day was a big thing. February was about the time when we got fed up with wearing winter clothes and shoveling heaves of snow in order to leave our house in the morning. Each February 2nd, we would all sit glued to the television screen awaiting to hear if the sacred ground hog had emerged from its burrow to see its shadow. If the weather was cloudy, and he failed to see his shadow, it meant that winter would soon end. On the other hand, if it was sunny and he saw his shadow, it meant he’d retreat to his burrow and we’d hear the grueling news that winter would ensue for another six weeks.
Having lived in Florida and California for nearly two decades, I forgot about the importance of this holiday in many parts of the country. I was reminded by today’s radio announcement and the reporter’s comment on the day. In fact, I had to pull aside while driving to giggle about his comments about this holiday which apparently originated in the 18th and 19th century as a Pennsylvania German custom.
“Here we are, a few thousand people freezing our buts off waiting to worship a rat,” he reported. I could not help chuckling at his comment.
Aren’t humans a funny breed? What are your thoughts on this day?