JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This time of year us American’s start to look at the ground to see what the world’s most famous forecaster the ground hog has to say. It’s such a bogus unique American tradition, will this rodent see his shadow or not? Why do we care?
It goes back a bit, it actually comes from the Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s and brought their holiday Candlemas. It’s a Christian holiday commemorating the presentation of Jesus at Temple. The holiday also has a springtime significance in that it's a holiday that wraps up the Christmas season as people start to look towards spring.
What is interesting is there is a scientific reason for the date Feb. 2, it is halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The Winter Solstice is Dec. 21 while March 20 is the Spring Equinox.
In Europe they actually used a Badger as a weather profit on this day but in the United States the Ground Hog was about as close to an animal they had and thus the Holiday Groundhog Day was born in 1886 in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania.
According to tradition, if a hibernating groundhog comes out of his burrow sees his shadow he will run back and continue to hibernate thus indicating a longer winter.
Also noteworthy, Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow a lot, 105 times, 20 times he did not and ten times there was no report.
For us here at least in Florida, let’s be honest. We already have had 80 degree temperatures so does it really matter if he sees his shadow or not? What I want is a animal that can tell me what hurricane season will be like.