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Groundhog Day

Take the time to have some fun with Groundhog Day. People need a break at this time of year and want something hopeful and fun to celebrate. Give prizes to the person who can do the best hand shadow puppet. Play pin the tail on the groundhog. Have a groundhog pinata (many people think that the Looney Toon character Taz looks a lot like a rabid groundhog, so go with that character).

Try some Groundhog Day trivia:

In Canada we have the following groundhogs:

Wiarton Willie . . . Wiarton, Ontario Oil Springs Ollie . . . near Sarnia, Ontario Shubenacadie Sam . . . Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia Balzac Billy . . . Balzac, Alberta Gaspésie Fred . . . Val-d’Espoir, Quebec

Make yourself some cookies here:


Modern Groundhog Day falls on February 2, the first cross quarter day of the year.  (Incidentally, Halloween is linked to the last cross-quarter day.)

The Celts in Ireland and Scotland celebrated this day as Imbolc, the first day of spring. Originally it was a pagan festival associated with Brigid—the goddess of fertility, healing, poetry and smithcraft. Imbolc was traditionally celebrated from the evening of January 31 to the evening of February 1 as a time to celebrate the coming of spring through lighting fires in the hearth, lighting candles, and eating special meals—representing the returning warmth of the sun.

It was the Pennsylvania Dutch communities—mostly German-speaking immigrants—that kept these traditions alive in America. They made only one significant change: they replaced the Old World hedgehog with the far more common New World groundhog. In 1887, folks from a little town in western Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney, took a groundhog named Phil to a hill called Gobbler’s Knob to spot his shadow. The event has been held nearly every year since, and now thousands of visitors congregate there each year for Groundhog Day.

However, don’t take Phil’s predictions very seriously. He’s only right about 39% of the time.

Groundhog History from

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