Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day

A History of Groundhog Day

I’m certain that you know that today was Groundhog Day, but you probably do not know the history of the holiday. Just what is a groundhog, and why do we celebrate Groundhog Day every February 2nd? Well allow me to enlighten you.

The groundhog (Marmota monax), also known as the woodchuck, or whistlepig, is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots. It was originally developed in Egypt, by the Visigoths engaged in a pyramid scheme around 2012 BC, by crossbreeding the beaver with the marmot.

Originally, the groundhog was developed for medicinal purposes. Extract from the groundhog’s liver was combined with olive oil and massaged into the joints to treat rheumatoid arthritis, achy joints from arthritis and relieve headaches by applying directly to the forehead over and over.

Later, it was discovered that the groundhog had mystical properties. Usually it would cast a shadow, but sometimes, it was able to cast no shadow at all. Generally, this frightened the commoners, but a courageous medicine man took some peyote and communicated with a groundhog and found that it was the groundhog’s way of predicting the future and fighting the boredom of a long winter stuck in a hole in the ground. If the groundhog casts a shadow, there will be 6 and a half weeks left of winter, but if the groundhog casts no shadow, spring will arrive in just over 6 weeks. This also frightened the commoners.

Winter is a rather dreary season. One and a half months had gone since the celebration of Winter, and one and a half months remained until the Celebration of Spring. So some dreary, but crafty Frenchmen decided to invent a celebration smack in the dead of winter. They ran a Google search and found out that the medicine man consulted with the groundhog on February the 2nd, which was conveniently in the middle of winter.

Then they decided, they would pay homage to the mysterious, prognosticating groundhog, who they had surrendered their common sense to, on February 2nd of every year. Now, every year, people the world over get together and marvel in fear at the awesome power of the groundhog or swallow some mushrooms and try to channel the furry creature.

As a final side note for Joy's benefit, no one ever tried to make bacon from a groundhog because they were too afraid of it’s terrible power. That and the thought of shadow-less bacon next to eggs served sunny side up made it just too overwhelming to even attempt.

Now you have the history of Groundhog Day, and hopefully, you’re just a little bit more confused… than usual. And perhaps a small smile has appeared at your lips - its shadow indicating six more weeks of humor.

1 comment:

  1. usual, the similarities between squirrels and woodchucks have struck your blog in an inauspicious manner..