"How groundhogs got a reputation for predicting weather patterns is a mystery, because they are not the least bit interested in their shadows or the number of winter weeks remaining. The only reason they come out of hibernation is for food and sex."
Willie Wiarton was the original Canadian groundhog who lived to be 22 years old but died during the hibernation winter of 1998-1999. All of this was discovered just before just before groundhogs day.
So how did they gain a reputation for predicting weather? I'm not sure if I should make you read or if I should give you the answer. Since I'm feeling good this morning, here it goes.
First off the verdict: 6 more weeks of winter says Phil = An Early Spring!
Groundhogs are not very good at predicting the weather. The town of Wiarton insist their Willie was 90 percent accurate. Since the Groundhog Festival attracts 20,00 free-spending tourists, what do you expect them to say? Scientific stuidies show groundhogs to be accurate 37 percent of the time in Fact. You do better if you flipped a coin in fact!
According to European folklore attributes this weather-forecasting ability to not only the groundhog, but the bear and the badger, too. And a similar tradition -- where snow and overcast skies signal and early end to winter -- is observed in northern Europe on Candlemas Day, which also falls on February 2 and in some areas marks the beginning of spring planting.
Important links - Canadian groundhog information - Wiarton Willie
American Groundhogs Day - Punxsutawney Phil
Europe - History of Candlemas
I'm still thinking Fasnacht or Canival is even a better celebration for everyone!!
What do you think? Which celebration do you like the most?