How Did Groundhog Day Come To Be And Do We Care In Idaho
I lived in Idaho for three years before I moved to warmer weather... much warmer weather, as in 100-120 degrees in the summer and the winter days averaged 70 degrees. The reason I bring this up is because winters and for that matter Groundhog day were not a real factor in my life for the last seven years. The last two winters are a different story and while the Treasure Valley hasn't really had severe weather lately, I'm pretty sure I'm done with the cold days and chilly nights. Obviously I was disappointed today when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and they announced 6 more weeks of winter. This entire event got me thinking about the validity of this prediction and how Groundhog day came about. History.com does a really good of breaking it down efficiently, check out the quick explanation below.
"On February 2, 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, it gets scared and runs back into its burrow, predicting six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring."
"Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal—the hedgehog—as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State."
Great story, the real question is... How accurate is this? and does anyone care in Idaho?