Monday, February 2, 2009

Jour de la marmotte!

...is how you say "Groundhog Day" in French, Wikipedia tells me.

As holidays go, I kind of like Groundhog Day---although it drives me nuts when people refer to it as "Groundhog's Day" instead---because it's silly, involves a cuddly rodent, and doesn't mandate the spending of money. (Although if I'd known they existed ahead of time, I'd have been sorely tempted by some groundhog-themed party items.)

I was wondering last year why sometimes you see groundhogs (in conjuction with Groundhog Day, anyway) depicted in top hats, and a cursory google image search today makes it seem like the groundhog ends up with a top hat becuase in Punxsutawney, the nexus of all Groundhog Day activities, the handlers who get the groundhog out of his burrow wear top hats. So then, of course, the question becomes but why do the groundhog handlers wear top hats? So far, no answer about that. I did, however, learn that the people who wear these hats (and tuxedos, apparelty!) take care of Punxsutawney Phil/plan the Groundhog Day proceedings are known as "The Inner Circle," which is hilarious in itself.

The Wiki page on Groundhog Day has a whole table, listed by year, with various groundhogs' predictions about the weather. So far for 2009, only five groundhogs have predicted an early spring and eight groundhogs (including Phil) have predicted six more weeks of winter. However, Staten Island Chuck, who must be my geographically-closest marmotte, thinks we are in for an early spring, so I'm going to trust him! Because I hate winter.

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