Happy Groundhog Day - Predictions and Pancakes
Up in Canada, Ontario's Wiarton Willie and Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam are disagreeing with Phil, as is Staten Island Chuck, who hobnobbed with Mayor Bloomberg earlier this morning. Illinois' own Woodstock Willie would have you know Phil's weather prediction is just plain wrong, and Atlanta's General Beauregard Lee (who announced his prediction via Twitter and live stream at 8:03) is also sure winter is over.
What I think is most interesting about Groundhog Day (which I think used to be known as Groundhog's Day), is that it a secular overlay on the pre-Reformation Christian holiday of Candlemas, which most people only know in the context of obscure Christmas carols. It also marks the halfway point between the winter and spring equinox.
Groundhog Day itself was first brought to the USA in Pennsylvania (where Punxsutawny Phil lives) by German settlers, who, as many Europeans, had observed the behavior of the hedgehog in their native country for a prediction about spring. It's said that the French celebrate Candlemas by cooking crepes and pancakes, which seems a good excuse for a dinner tonight that's both tasty and easy!