Happy Groundhog Day
By James Donahue
Among the many interesting customs brought to America by European immigrants
is Groundhog Day. It is a celebration of mid-winter, mostly designed to help break the monotony of the long winter season,
by concentrating on the actions of the lowly groundhog.
As the story is told, if the groundhog wakes from his winter sleep on
February 2 and peeks out of his burrow, what he sees will affect how much more winter lies ahead. If he faces sunshine and
sees is shadow, it frightens him back into his hole for another round of hibernation. This means six more weeks of winter
If the groundhog emerges on a cloudy day, he might choose to stay awake,
and this is an indication of an early spring. Or so the legend is told.
There are various Groundhog Day celebrations, but the best known and best
publicized is the one held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. That is probably because it was portrayed in the 1993 film Groundhog
Actually, Pennsylvania is probably the place where the custom had its
roots. The Germans who settled there in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries brought with them memories of a Pagan festival
of Imbolc, a seasonal mark on the Celtic calendar, once celebrated on February 1. In Germany it was a badger that was the
The Groundhog Day celebration is somewhat linked to normal seasonal weather
patterns, that were true back when the weather was somewhat constant and dependable. Unfortunately, because of changing atmospheric
conditions brought on by carbon emissions, world weather patterns are changing dramatically.
No matter what Punxsutawney Phil does today in Pennsylvania, it probably
won’t be an accurate prediction of what we can expect in the weeks and months ahead.
For example, The Abba Father, a Sixth Plane entity that communicates through
my wife, Doris, and often makes very accurate predictions of future events, says cold and snow will hang on along the Eastern
Seaboard until June this year. After this, he warns that intense heat will slam the country until autumn.
Sorry to put a damper on today’s celebration. We suggest that folks
enjoy the festivities, but then pledge to do something constructive this year about the growing problem of climate change.