Groundhog Day: Why Celebrate a Rodent?

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Groundhog Day should not be a holiday because there is not much to celebrate about a giant ground squirrel.

The holiday originated from an ancient Christian celebration known as “Candlemas”  that marked the time between spring and winter. Candles would be blessed and passed around from house to house. If the weather that day was sunny, winter would last longer, but if it were cloudy, the cold season would end soon.

The Germans picked up on the myth and interpreted it with a hedgehog. If the hedgehog emerged from the ground and saw its shadow, winter will continue. If the hedgehog did not see its shadow, then spring would arrive early. The hedgehog would later be changed to a groundhog, creating the holiday, Groundhog Day.

There is no clear indication that a groundhog has any special abilities to predict the weather. However, whether or not Groundhog Day is accurate, it still has its supporters amassing 40,000 people to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania last year for Groundhog Day, according to 

Despite this, the celebration of this holiday is still unpopular to many Americans. According to a poll by National Today, 15.07% of the 1,000 survey participants did not like Groundhog Day, while 2.61% had never heard of Groundhog Day. Only 4.06% said Groundhog Day is one of their favorite holidays.

Also, where are the materials to celebrate Groundhog Day? Halloween is for making pumpkin carvings and trick-or-treating. Thanksgiving unites family, friends, and loved ones with food. Christmas is recognized for its many spiritual and sentimental meanings. All of these holidays have themed food dishes, dozens of themed movies, and collective celebrations synonymous with certain seasons of the year, but Groundhog Day does not follow the same theme.

Groundhog Day does not come anywhere near the impact of any of the holidays mentioned. Groundhog Day can seamlessly be seen as a holiday just like Columbus Day. Both are on your calendar, but that is probably all the recognition it will get.

Every holiday is worth celebrating, but Groundhog Day is an event that anyone can skip, Feb. 2 this year will be like any other Tuesday.

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