Unless you live in Pennsylvania, you may find it challenging to figure out fun ways to celebrate Groundhog Day. But if you want some fun ways to honor that shadow-seeking rodent, read on!
Fun Ways to Celebrate Groundhog Day
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I have to admit that, when it comes to ridiculous holiday celebrations, the United States qualifies as world-class grand masters. We celebrate everything from “National Cherry Pie Month”, to “The Festival of Sleep Day”. Just as a point of information, January 4th is “Trivia Day”. How’s THAT for self-referencing?
All Hail Punxsutawney Phil
We Americans are gluttons for celebrating, and there is no more proof needed than the oddity that occurs every February 2nd, “Groundhog Day”. The idea is that, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, there resides a giant furry rodent with the magical ability to predict the length of winter. If “Phil”, as he is known, sees his shadow on that day, he will supposedly become frightened and return to his home, indicating another six weeks of winter. If, however, it is cloudy or overcast, he will see no shadow. And this apparently indicates that the worst of winter is past.
Blame it on Germany
If truth be told, I suppose we in the U.S. can’t take full credit for this annual celebration of rodent weather forecasting. The practice began in Germany, where they relied on the powers of a hedgehog. But Germans who immigrated to Pennsylvania brought the tradition with them and, apparently deciding that all animals with “hog” in their name were created equal, settled for the groundhog.
Although they pull out all the stops in Punxsutawney when celebrating Groundhog Day, you can have a little fun at home, with some of the following suggestions!
Since the real star of the holiday is a shadow, you can start getting creative with hand shadow figures. It’s fairly simple and kids get a kick out of what they can come up with. Check out this How-To Video on Youtube:
Or score yourself this cool little book all about creating shadows:
Have a Dark Sense of Humor?
If you like to celebrate holidays with some delicious food, Groundhog day is made for you. Of course I’m not talking about going out and field-dressing old Phil. I’m referring to actual “ground hog”. As in ground pork. The folks at South Your Mouth have a great recipe for a ground pork and rice casserole that is easy to put together and delicious, no matter what the weather is:
Watch Groundhog Day
Of course an obvious way to celebrate Groundhog Day is by watching the movie, Groundhog Day (Special 15th Anniversary Edition) with Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliot. It’s a great comedy with a little lesson thrown in about being sincere, caring for others, and not being a self-centered jerk.
Don’t write this movie off as being just a goofy film; it was ranked number 8 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest movies in the “Fantasy” genre, and Roger Ebert said it was on his list of great movies. It was also included in Steven Schneider’s “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”. Plus, it’s just a fun movie to enjoy with friends and family. I mean, after all, who wouldn’t want to watch a guy try to kill himself a kajillion times before learning valuable lessons about life?
Although I hope you enjoy your Groundhog day this year, don’t get too hung up on the “seeing his shadow” thing; Phil is not right with his predictions all that often. Better to just watch the guy doing the weather on TV. Unless he looks suspiciously like Bill Murray.