The only real thing strange about the groundhog at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is that anyone takes it seriously..
it is clear that if a groundhog did in fact see a shadow, it would be only due to the lighting from media cameras and flashes of personal devices..
The air this morning was thick. A snowstorm blanketed the entire state of Pennsylvania and others from late Sunday through today.. The groundhog, we are told, saw its shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of a slushy winter of discontent..
However, if you imagine a groundhog is correct, you’d have to suggest that there are paranormal powers abounding at Gobbler’s Knob..
There is history to Phil and his powers.. the legendary creature dates back to the 1700s.. groundhogs were considered honorable and a pagan holiday entered the fray and led to the modern idea of Groundhogs Day. Jeffrey Pritchett detailed the history in 2012:
The name Punxsutawney comes from the Indian name for the location”ponksad-uteney” which means “the town of the sandflies.”The name woodchuck comes from the Indian legend of “Wojak,the groundhog” considered by them to be their ancestral grandfather.
When German settlers arrived in the 1700s, they brought a tradition known as Candlemas Day, which has an early origin in the pagan celebration of Imbolc. It came at the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold. For the early Christians in Europe, it was the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of Winter. A lighted candle was placed in each window of the home. The day’s weather continued to be important. If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather.
Pennsylvania’s official celebration of Groundhog Day began on February 2nd, 1886 with a proclamation in The Punxsutawney Spirit by the newspaper’s editor, Clymer Freas: “Today is groundhog day and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen its shadow.” The groundhog was given the name “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary” and his hometown thus called the “Weather Capital of the World.” His debut performance: no shadow – early Spring.
So do mystical powers exist in Punxsutawney? Is this legendary creature truly the sage of sages?
Or do grown men in hats just like being a part of a long standing tradition and playing the game of prognostication?
Logic tells us that a critter can’t predict weather.
But recent botchups in forecasting tells us perhaps meteorologists can’t either.
So get your gospel of weather and climate from the creature of your choice.
It looks like these people are quite fond and proud of the seer of seers:
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2 2015
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