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Strange traditions and customs - Groundhogs day!

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In the first weekend February of every year, supposedly a groundhog in Pennsylvania comes out of its hiding. If it sees its own shadow then it is believed that winter will continue at least for six weeks. If it did not see its shadow then spring is around the corner soon !.. Not sure if I have explained this correctly.

People celebrate the Ground Hogs day regardless.

Here is a bunch of jokers who have declared that for this year the Ground Hog did not see its shadow!



See the video embedded in the story above

UPDATED:FEB 02 2016 08:49AM EST

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. - (AP) -- The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has failed to see his shadow, meaning means he's "predicted" an early spring.
Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "forecast" at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.
[h=4]No shadow: Pennsylvania groundhog 'predicts' early spring[/h]
In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob. The tiny hill is located just outside the town for which he's named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Records going back to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times. There are no records for the remaining years.
In Washington, D.C., Punxsutawney Phil's counterpart, Potomac Phil also called for an early spring. Potomac Phil added that six more months of political gridlock could also be expected.
© 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


There are few other traditions that I found sort of odd when I first came to USA

1. Before a major game of American Football, people regardless of weather go to the parking lot many hours in advance and have a cook out (grill all kinds of meat) and drink beer at the parking lot

2. President of USA pardons a turkey being delivered by local farms before Thanksgiving Holiday. The lucky turkey is allowed to live its natural life in a sanctuary having gotten the presidential pardon to live and not be killed as food!

3. The whole act of dressing up as all kinds of characters on Halloween day to stranger's houses chanting trick or treat. The people in the homes will give candies to kids so they dont play tricks supposedly. But the adults also dress up at work places and restaurants and bars. In my university one woman 'dressed up as nude' by just painting herself clothes! In such parties in my university days I used to 'dress up' as Indian (American Indian) :)

Raji Ram

Active member
Dear TKS Sir,

Got this explanation from the web:

According to the legend, if the four-legged creature is spooked by his own shadow and returns into his burrow, there will be

a further six weeks of cold and miserable weather. However, if the sun fails to shine on the groundhog and he stays out in the

open, then it is time for spring. (Yes, a lack of sunshine apparently indicates the arrival of spring.)


Active member
Groundhog Day originates from an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox—the day right in the middle of astronomical winter. According to superstition, sunny skies that day signify a stormy and cold second half of winter while cloudy skies indicate the arrival of warm weather.
The trail of Phil’s history leads back to Clymer H. Freas, city editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper. Inspired by a group of local groundhog hunters—whom he would dub the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—Freas declared Phil as America’s official forecasting groundhog in 1887. As he continued to embellish the groundhog's story year after year, other newspapers picked it up, and soon everyone looked to Punxsutawney Phil for the prediction of when spring would return to the country.

While Groundhog Day is a way to have a little fun at mid-winter, climate records and statistics tell us that winter probably isn't over. Climatologically speaking, the three coldest months of the year are December, January, and February, so winter typically still has a bit to go when the groundhog comes out in search of his shadow on February 2.

I would not call it a tradition, it is more of publicity and superstition.

In ancient times, Germanic peoples believed that badgers had the ability to predict the weather, using this knowledge to plant crops. Even after communities stopped believing in the badger's power to predict, tradition kept the practice alive. - See more at: http://wilstar.com/holidays/grndhog.htm#sthash.8WdnIzaa.dpuf
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