Happy Hedgehog Day!
It’s Febuary 2nd and this means for many of us, listening in on the announcement of whether Wiarton, Ontario’s groundhog, Wiarton Willie and Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has seen their shadows to forecast another 6 weeks of winter or not. It has been a tradition that has gone on for over 200 centuries.
The theory behind Groundhog Day originated in 18th century America and was based on the European tradition. The belief behind the day was that if the sun was shining on Candlemas Day (February 2) winter would stick around for another 6 weeks. However, if the sky was cloudy, spring would make an early appearance.
Before Groundhog Day, a thousand years ago, the Romans observed something similar on the same day. However, instead of using a groundhog, a hedgehog was used (hedgehogs being a cousin of the groundhog). Two Greek authors, Aristotle and Plutarch tell us that hedgehogs have an uncanny ability to sense changes in wind direction and thereby predict weather; they also report that a man from Cyzicus or Byzantium (presumably a Greek and far from the Roman homeland) got famous for predicting the weather on the basis of hedgehog behavior. Moreover, a similar claim that hedgehogs can predict winds appears in a first century A.D. Roman author, Pliny the Elder. This alleged ability to foretell future weather may relate to the notion that a putative Hedgehog Day inspired modern Groundhog Day.
No matter what, people all over the world will be waiting anxiously to hear whether there will be six more weeks of winter or if there will be an early spring.
|His Shadow Did Appear|
|There was a shadow on the ground
Which means that spring will not come round.
Six more weeks of winter fun.
Hopefully we’ll see some sun.
Children laugh as they ride on their sleds
Snowflakes fall from the sky up above
We have lots of great one’s from which you can choose
Four seasons of fun is what you get here.