Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Happy Hedgehog Day!

I don't quite understand how a groundhog seeing its shadow in Pennsylvania can mean that my wife has to be pregnant for 6 more weeks.

Explanation: Yesterday was Groundhog Day, and the groundhog saw its shadow, which somehow means that my wife will be pregnant forever. I don't quite understand it, but the people of Pennsylvania wouldn't steer me wrong. It's a national holiday, so I'm sure they have to be trusted.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder how on earth this of all days managed to find itself on the calendar? Seriously? And what's so special about the groundhog? There's no Woodchuck Day, Badger Day, or Lemur Day.

Special Blog Bonus: Dilbert mocks stupid holidays here. Enjoy.


Willie Y said...

I guess you forgot the Lobster Festival.

Jack said...

I know you are being whimsical but this is a true fact!

We have names to correspond to the beginning of each season, the Summer and Winter Solstice and the Spring and Fall Equinox, but in ancient times (even before I was a young man) it was useful to know the midpoint of each season or cross-quarter day. These cross-quarter days are Groundhog Day, May Day, Halloween, and Lammas Day (Okay, Lammas Day is not that big anymore but it was the festival of the first wheat harvest of the year).

(A cross-quarter day is a day falling approximately halfway between a solstice and an equinox. These days originated as pagan holidays in Sweden, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom and Ireland, and survive in modern times as neopagan holidays. (The cross-quarter days were also independently developed in East Asia as four of the 24 Solar Terms.)

You should also know that in addition to Groundhog Day, Candlemas is celebrated February 3rd. Candlemas has several names including the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin, and the Meeting of the Lord. In many Western liturgical churches, it is believed that a young maiden who is not a virgin at Candlemas is not in a state of grace and if they are pregnant, the pregnancy is indeed prolonged to cause the impregnator 6 more weeks of suffering (or at least it seems that long).

* All the above facts were carefully researched or made up as needed.