Saturday, February 02, 2008
Groundhog Day: The Forgotten Holiday
Today is February 2nd. That means in the United States and Canada, this is Groundhog Day. However, looking at the local paper and the news channels, there is little if any coverage of this holiday. What is wrong? Why do we have such a lack of respect for the traditions from the past? A lot of people find it disturbing when stores put out Christmas displays before Thanksgiving is over. I find it equally annoying when Valentine's Day decorations go up before (or without) the acknowledgement of Groundhog Day.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Groundhog Day:
"Groundhog Day or Groundhog's Day is a holiday celebrated in United States and Canada on February 2. In weather lore, if a groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, marmot or ground squirrel, emerges from its burrow on this day and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, winter will soon end. If the groundhog sees its shadow, it will return into its burrow, and the winter will continue for 6 more weeks."
We can not let this holiday go away or be marginalized any further. I am thankful that the Pennsylvania Lottery is giving away 2008 Calendars honoring Groundhog Day and groundhogs in general. The calendars feature Gus who is a groundhog every month. Request for a free calendar can be made at http://126.96.36.199/cal_registration.aspx. I requested one several weeks ago and I am still waiting. I hope the Pennsylvania Lottery can deliver on the promise it has made to help keep this holiday strong.
What can you do? If you are in the USA or Canada, check your local paper. Has it given coverage to Groundhog Day? If not, protest loud! Call or write a letter complaining. Here is some sample text, "I am very disappointed that NAME OF PAPER HERE chooses not to acknowledge the Groundhog holiday. Why has this important event been ignored? Many local citizens celebrate this day every year. While local store ramp up their Valentine’s Day displays, there is no mention of Groundhog Day. It is a shame that only commercialized holidays get any coverage. Please fix this in the future."
As I drove through town this morning, I did see a sign of hope. A local fraternity had a sign up reading, "Honk for the Groundhog and we will drink a beer." All hope for this day is not yet gone.