GROUNDHOG? DAY – February 2015

Years Ago” was of a bear, of course we know this date as Groundhog Day. Here are a few historical facts culled from Wikipedia. The celebration, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog. It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc (the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar) which is celebrated on February 1 and also involves weather prognostication.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog lodges celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g’spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken.~