Picture of Punxsutawney Phil Courtesy of Groundhog.org
As we begin to tire of winter (enough, already!) we also wait anxiously for the answer to a crucial question: “Will there be six more weeks of winter or will we soon be singing Spring Fever?” Well, we at Bigelow Tea can’t answer that question, so we’ll defer to the professionals – Punxsutawney Phil and his like-minded brethren.
Each year on February 2nd, Phil (and his geographic network of groundhogs in the United States and Canada) ventures out of his burrow. If he sees his shadow, he scurries back into hibernation for another six weeks; if however, the lovable four-legged muse fails to see his shadow, he will leave his burrow, indicating that spring will soon be sprung!
Groundhog Day is celebrated with gusto in many locations, especially in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania – which, fittingly, was the set location for the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. Each year in Punxsutawney, crowds of people gather before sunrise to begin their annual all-day celebration featuring county fair themed events, food, libations and dancing.
Image Courtesy of Donnan.com
The Groundhog Day tradition dates back to 19th century Pennsylvania and the influx of German immigrants, whose European weather lore and customs were adopted. The annual celebration is also reminiscent of the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas.
Today, communities across the country have named their official groundhogs. Sadly, in Bigelow Tea’s home state, Connecticut Chuckles VI (a.k.a. Arnie) died last year at the ripe old age of 12. However, the title has been passed on to Molly, heretofore known as Connecticut Chuckles VII.
Happy Groundhog Day! And be sure that that when you come in from the cold, that you put the kettle on and enjoy some tea!