Groundhog Day

Post photo: Sunrise | © Pixabay

Actually, if we are of Catholic faith, we have Candlemas today. But for a long time this Christian holiday was associated with a peasant rule, which used a badger to forecast the weather. For most of us, neither will Candlemas — although I have to admit that the story behind it is very interesting — nor have a badger in the weather forecast.

When Germans emigrated to the United States in the 19th century, a few emigrants also took the peasant rule mentioned above back to their new homeland. Quite pragmatically, probably because there were no badgers, one simply took a marmot for the current weather forecast. And this may be the origin of Groundhog Day, which is still celebrated in the US and Canada today.

Anyone who sees the people on TV presenting the weather forecast here would certainly find a marmot very entertaining, at least from time to time.

The city of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is believed to be the origin of the Groundhog Day celebrations. At least this day is still celebrated there today. Punxsutawney Phil, a marmot, became known worldwide through the film Groundhog Day Bill Murray from 1993 — I wrote a blog post about it before. Hard to believe that this film is already 30 years old!

And such a "groundhog day" has probably corrected each of the exams, at least that's how it is for me. I'm sure I'll be able to have a few nice conversations about why this is the case over the next few weeks.

Addendum: February 3, 2023

As we were able to read from the newspapers today, marmot Fred in Val-d'Espoir in Quebec, Canada, never woke up and was probably dead in his cave. The meteorologists still have to agree on what this means for the local weather situation and whether this will even have an impact on the global weather situation.

Deleted movie scene

    • You should comment on that a little more. The link alone doesn't really help me.

      But I can think of a joke from my youth that explains the origins of the Palatinate quite well: When the Roman legions were once again moving north, a general left the unfit soldiers and their entourage somewhere and promised to take them to a more victorious place Returning from the campaign to take back home, he pfalz come over again.

      • In the 18th century, the people from the Palatinate who emigrated to Pennsylvania apparently found familiar climatic conditions and since the said marmot was also available, the familiar custom was installed quickly. As you can see, reliable and successful to this day.
        In addition, other traditions and the native Palatinate dialect have been preserved as an independent minority language “Pennsylvanisch Deitsch” (aka PA Dutch). Those who still use the language can easily communicate with those left behind in their German homeland and maintain the transatlantic partnership from hiwwe to driwwe.