Cherry Blossoms

Happy Groundhog Day – 2/2/2024

Groundhogs Puxatawany Phil of PA and French Creek Freddie of WV didn’t see their shadows and are predicting an early Spring! 

Where did this prediction tradition come from? In the US, immigrants brought the festive tradition with them from Germany, where badgers (and I’ve read hedgehogs, too) were the harbingers of Spring or a longer Winter in February. Depending on the country, weather prediction animals for Spring even included bears! Looking back further in pre-Christian and Christian Europe, history shows that every 3 months, the upcoming seasonal changes were celebrated, bringing communities together to acknowledge the year’s cyclical changes and the sowing, growing, harvesting and death that was part of life.

For a more in depth look on this topic, please read my sources, The Library of Congress blog; the West Virginia DNR’s website, the Punxsutawney Phil website and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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