Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day - my favorite holiday

Six more weeks of winter?
Beatrice Daily Sun
Beatrice, Nebraska
February 3, 1904

I've often stated that my favorite holiday is Groundhog Day. It is certainly a date that I welcome with much excitement and anticipation. Why? It's the beginning of the countdown to the end of winter. Whether or not Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, we're about six weeks away from starting to see some early signs of Spring.

Groundhog Day has been around since at least 1886, at least in Punxsutawney (according to Wikipedia). That tells me that our ancestors also needed a benchmark day where they could begin the countdown to the end of winter.

Nebraska has its own version of Phil, notably a long dead and stuffed groundhog named Unadilla Bill, who will make his appearance from the Groundhog Capital of Nebraska. You can follow the Unadilla Bill Groundhog's Day celebration on Facebook. One day a year, Bill is taken outdoors from his usual spot in the tavern in Unadilla to see if he will see his shadow.

One thing is for certain - winter will come to an end - eventually.

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