Voices from Russia

Thursday, 3 February 2011

3 February 2011. Sergei Yolkin’s World: Groundhog Day, Year After Year

Groundhog Day, Year After Year

Sergei Yolkin



Groundhog Day, which became widely known in Russia because of the eponymous film starring Bill Murray, is traditionally celebrated in the USA on 2 February. According to legend, on this day you need to carefully watch the groundhog when he gets out of his hole, to find out when spring comes. If the groundhog sees his shadow … that is, if the day’s sunny… the groundhog scurries back to his burrow and hides; winter will last another six weeks. If the animal doesn’t see his shadow… that is, it’s an overcast day… spring will be early. This tradition dates back to old German superstitions. However, the original prognosticator wasn’t a groundhog, it was a badger, and the animal was watched in March, not February. German immigrants brought the custom to the USA. Nowadays, there are groundhog-meteorologists in Canada, too.

2 February 2011

Sergei Yolkin




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