Do you think the groundhog will or will not see it's shadow on February 2nd? Submit your prediction below, Twitter or Facebook @ccabuildsyyc and you could win a 2-hour interior/exterior vehicle detailing (valued at $150).
Groundhog Day is just around the corner. It is that one day that we shift our attention away from the professional meteorologists and put our trust in a rodent. It’s all in good fun and sometimes the groundhog gets the weather prediction right, sometimes even more so than the local weatherman (or woman). But what do you know about this timehonoured tradition? Let’s look at some interesting (and a little bit wacky) facts about Groundhog Day.
Why February 2nd? Why Not Later In The Month/Year? The date for Groundhog Day was not pulled randomly from a hat. That only happens in contests where there are major prizes you can win. As it turns out, February 2nd happens to be a cross-quarter day. That is a fancy term used to describe a date that falls at the midpoint between two seasons. Even though there may still be snow on the ground in and around Calgary, Groundhog Day signals that winter is officially half over!
Why A Groundhog and Not Elk or Moose or Deer? Well, this dates back to traditional. The first Groundhog Day celebration was in 1886 and was hosted by the Groundhog Club. That was a group of elders who named their club after the rodent that was not only considered a weather predictor (when one popped out of the ground, their long winter nap was over), but also a tasty menu item. Apparently, it tastes much like a cross between chicken and pork. That part of the traditional did not live on.
Why Does The Groundhog Poke Its Head Out of the Ground? The groundhog actually does hibernate in the true sense of the term. For the average groundhog, hibernation is a lot more than a deep winter nap. When the rodent curls up in its burrow with other members of its family they sink into a coma-like state. Their body temperature drops, their hearts slow down significantly to where they blood barely flows. Breathing almost comes to a halt. They wake from their coma in late January or early February and check out their "hood."
Why Does The Groundhog Predict The Weather? Actually, the groundhog does not predict the weather. It has become a weather predicting tool used by humans as a means of dealing with the dull, dark days of winter. Groundhog Day and the ‘prediction’ of an early spring depending on whether or not the rodent’s shadow appears, helps to give us all some hope that the long winter is either coming to an end or has a few more weeks to go. Compared to actual meteorologists, the groundhog stats are far from impressive but no less important enough to build an annual celebration around.