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Origin of Groundhog Day

Offbeat  (tags: Groundhog Day, Candlemas Day, Imbolc, weather divination, weather, pagan celebrations, holidays, feast days )

- 1711 days ago -
In its earliest incarnation, Groundhog Day was Imbolc, a pagan celebration associated with fertility and weather divination.The second holiday deriving from Imbolc was Candlemas Day and was celebrated on February 2 (Groundhog Day). Candlemas was the feast


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Barbara K (62)
Sunday February 9, 2014, 11:19 am
Thanks for the info, my friend, I hadn't thought of it before..

Beth S (330)
Sunday February 9, 2014, 11:52 am
In my first preschool teaching job, I was expected to teach Groundhog Day. I simply thought that there were too many other issues/ideas to get across to children than something so self-evidently ridiculous. I had no idea about its pagan background. After reviewing this article, I am even more thankful that I made the decision never to include Groundhog Day in my curriculum.

Nevertheless, it's important to know from where things in our popular culture come from, and this article certainly catalogs it well. Maybe the lesson here is to take the time to research into other popular practices about which we have little idea of their origins.

Thanks, Beatrice.

Past Member (0)
Sunday February 9, 2014, 4:46 pm
Interesting--i never gave it much thought before. Thanks

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Monday February 10, 2014, 1:58 pm
Groundhogs living in Canada do object to being rustled out of their beds in early February since it is fairly obvious that the Canadian winter is going to be long and cold except for select parts of Lotusland. Canadian groundhogs have elected to awaken Toronto Mayor Ford out of his cozy bunk to act as their substitute every February from now on and pleased with this resolution, the groundhogs can now slumber through til Spring...undisturbed.

Birgit W (160)
Monday February 10, 2014, 1:59 pm
I dearly wished they would not use those poor little groundhogs on Groundhog Day. But nobody seems to care, unfortunately.

Kate Kenner (215)
Monday February 10, 2014, 3:39 pm
It is a silly holiday really. FirstI agree =why should they be woken up for ti?Winter isn't over and neither is their slumber. Also it;s not rocket science to figure out that if it is cloudy s/he is not going to see a shadow but of course if it is there will be a shadow. They should just be expected to do what they do naturally-wake up when theory are ready instead of performing for ridiculous humans,

Past Member (0)
Monday February 10, 2014, 3:42 pm
I think we can all accept that harassing groundhogs isn't really a good way to forecast weather; but it is unlikely that the local chamber of commerce is going to risk losing all those tourist dollars by letting the groundhog sleep in peace.

reft h (66)
Monday February 10, 2014, 10:07 pm
People just want something fun to do with their families or friends during an otherwise dreary and dull time of year. I'm neither condoning nor agreeing with it. It isn't much different from using an octopus to predict the winner of a horse race, or a herd of puppies to predict the super bowl.

Colleen L (3)
Monday February 10, 2014, 10:53 pm
Interesting. Thanks Beautrice

Joanne Dixon (38)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 11:00 am
February 2 also is dedicated to Saint Blaise, who protects from diseases of the throat. One used to see at least half the Catholic choir at mass on February 2.

Ruth C (87)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 11:54 am
I agree Birgit W.

Marija M (28)
Tuesday February 11, 2014, 12:15 pm
Interesting. Have not heard of that until this year.

Charlene Rush (79)
Thursday February 13, 2014, 9:01 pm
If for no other reason, Groundhog Day, lets everyone know that Punxsutawney, PA, actually exists.
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