Groundhog Day occurs every February 2nd of each year. It is celebrated in North America. The dual meaning, according to https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/groundhog-day, is that it refers to a reoccurring instance that remains the same.
Firstly, what is a groundhog? According to “Wikipedia,” it is a rodent, who belongs to the “Marmota monax” species. It resembles squirrels as it belongs to the family of marmots. One of its alternative names is “woodchuck.” [The information from now on is taken from https://www.history.com/this-da-in-history/first-groundhog-day].
Typically, it starts to hibernate near the end of the year & pulls out in February. It does this to search for its companion. Next, it goes back to hibernation, & then permanently pulls out of this hibernation in March.
The purpose of the Groundhog Day is to predict if winter will last for another six weeks, or if spring will come then. The result of this prediction is dependent on the appearance of the shadow of the groundhog in the sun on that day. If the shadow does appear, then it is believed that winter will last another six weeks. If not, then spring will come early.
This tradition initiated in 1887 (Feb. 2nd) in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA. Then it was thought that Groundhog Day in their place (called Phil) was the only one in the country. Now, of course, this is no longer true & every region now has their own groundhog on that day. The original animal was the hedgehog.
The Christian tradition of Candlemas lies behind this celebration. The clergy would give out the much needed candles for the winter cold. These determined the length of the winter. The idea of the hedgehog had initially sprouted from there.
Groundhog Day is listed in calendars on February 2nd. Moreover, there was a movie named “Groundhog Day” itself. This was released in 1993. It joined the multiple meanings.
Presently, several traverse to Punxsutawney each Groundhog Day to see what happens to “Phil.” There is a celebration that lasts for three days. This time is filled with different types of events.
Groundhogs can be eaten according to www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2012/02/ways-to-eat-groundhog.html
Having a groundhog as a pet is dependent on the state law, according to https://blogs.findlaw.com/law_and_life/2014/02/is-it-legal-to-keep-groundhogs-as-pets.html#:~:text=Much%20like%20ferrets,%20groundhogs%20are%20a%20no-go.%20In,as%20a%20pet%20is%20probably%20against%20the%20law .
Groundhog Day brings us closer in relationship to animals. It is over a century old tradition that has no need to be broken. This brings us closer to our ancestors. Groundhog Day is celebrated across North America. Therefore, it serves as a source to unite everyone in the continent. There is also a special emphasis on groundhogs due to their natural behaviour. This could make them feel special. For these reasons, let the tradition continue.