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Groundhog Day 2013 – Happy Birthday Andrew Breitbart – OOT

by coldwarrior ( 23 Comments › )
Filed under OOT, Open thread at February 1st, 2013 - 9:30 pm

(edit – please take note of the addendum at the bottom)

From the Official Groundhog Day Website, Punxsutawney Phil:

 

Groundhog Day History

European Roots

(Adapted from “Groundhog Day: 1886 to 1992″ by Bill Anderson)

Groundhog Day, February 2nd, is a popular tradition in the United States. It is also a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.

According to an old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

According to an old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be twa (two) winters in the year.

Another variation of the Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o’ winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter’s gone at Yule.

The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather, which they interpolated as the length of the “Second Winter.”

Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.

The Germans recited:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.

This passage may be the one most closely represented by the first Punxsutawney Groundhog Day observances because there were references to the length of shadows in early Groundhog Day predictions.

Another February 2nd belief, used by American 19th century farmers, was:

Groundhog Day – Half your hay.

New England farmers knew that we were not close to the end of winter, no matter how cloudy February 2nd was. Indeed, February 2nd is often the heart of winter. If the farmer didn’t have half his hay remaining, there may have been lean times for the cows before spring and fresh grass arrived.

The ancient Candlemas legend and similar belief continue to be recognized annually on February 2nd due to the efforts of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Growing Fame

From offering support of political events, to rooting for area sports teams, to becoming the star of a Hollywood movie, Punxsutawney Phil has increasingly been in the public eye.

Early observances of Phil’s predictions were conducted privately in the wooded areas that neighbor the town. Today’s celebration sees tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world as revelers await Phil’s appearance as most fans wait to see their favorite rock stars.

The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper is credited with printing the news of the first observance in 1886 (one year before the first legendary trek to Gobbler’s Knob):

“Today is groundhog day, and up to the time of going to press the beast has not seen his shadow.”

Over the course of Phil’s appearances, Phil has had numerous noteworthy highlights:

  • During Prohibition Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn’t allowed a drink.

  • In 1958 Phil announced that it was a “United States Chucknik,” rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.

  • In 1981 Phil wore a yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

  • Phil traveled to Washington DC in 1986 to meet with President Reagan. He was joined by Groundhog Club President Jim Means, Al Anthony and Bill Null.

  • Phil met Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987.

  • In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.

  • Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995.

  • In the years following the release of the movie, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney!

  • In 2001, Phil’s prediction was shown live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attended the ceremonies, making him the first sitting governor ever to do so.

The above website will have a live simulcast for the sunrise festivities. I have been to two of these events. They are quite interesting indeed. :lol: The amount of booze consumed overnight by the throng is terrific. It’s a great party and something everyone should see at least once.

 

The celebration of Groundhog Day began with the Germans, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May…”. The settlers found that groundhogs were plentiful and were the most intelligent and sensible animal to carry on the legend of Candlemas Day.



Addendum: Happy Birthday Andrew Breitbart! You were an inspiration!

Oct 2, 2011- An Interview with Andrew Breitbart

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23 Responses to “Groundhog Day 2013 – Happy Birthday Andrew Breitbart – OOT”
( jump to bottom )

  1. heysoos
    1 | February 1, 2013 9:34 pm

    I have a groundhog fur coat…chicks dig it


  2. AZfederalist
    2 | February 1, 2013 9:45 pm

    Watching Golrush. That Parker Schnabel kid has heart.


  3. AZfederalist
    3 | February 1, 2013 9:46 pm

    That should be Goldrush


  4. heysoos
    4 | February 1, 2013 9:54 pm

    AZfederalist wrote:

    That should be Goldrush

    I’m watching Mustangs go 200 mph….factory built


  5. EBL
  6. lobo91
    6 | February 1, 2013 10:04 pm

    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knYfDZQeMZ4


  7. huckfunn
    7 | February 1, 2013 10:04 pm

    Addendum: Happy Birthday Andrew Breitbart! You were an inspiration!

    He was indeed an inspiration. It’s still hard to believe that he’s gone. Damn, but I miss him!


  8. huckfunn
    8 | February 1, 2013 10:07 pm

    @ lobo91:
    Tarantino’s gone to cat animations?


  9. heysoos
    9 | February 1, 2013 10:14 pm

    huckfunn wrote:

    @ lobo91:
    Tarantino’s gone to cat animations?

    I’m waiting for Hot Rod Cats, but not holding my breath…every time I mention fast cars the thread tanks…but I got the hot rod fever
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlwSSkB55jo


  10. huckfunn
    10 | February 1, 2013 10:26 pm

    heysoos wrote:

    I’m waiting for Hot Rod Cats, but not holding my breath…every time I mention fast cars the thread tanks…but I got the hot rod fever

    I’ve always been crazy about lead sleds.

    httpv://youtu.be/7U_N7QI1Nzo


  11. heysoos
    11 | February 1, 2013 10:48 pm

    Jeff Beck…drag race blues
    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSOkeVfwwc8


  12. Da_Beerfreak
    12 | February 1, 2013 11:08 pm

    This is good, and from Pravda of all places…
    True motives behind Obama’s gun ‘control’ stance

    The new gun control laws have nothing to do with schools, and everything to do with propping up a failing state. :shock:


  13. AZfederalist
    13 | February 1, 2013 11:38 pm

    Some of it they get wrong like the OWS folks being the financial banker protest equivalent of the Tea Party, but that is an outsider looking in kind of view. They definitely have the totalitarian bent of the administration down.

    Sad when Pravda reports better than our own media.


  14. Da_Beerfreak
    14 | February 1, 2013 11:42 pm

    AZfederalist wrote:

    Some of it they get wrong like the OWS folks being the financial banker protest equivalent of the Tea Party, but that is an outsider looking in kind of view. They definitely have the totalitarian bent of the administration down.

    Sad when Pravda reports better than our own media.

    That’s why I threw it out there; would never read or hear something like this from the Obamamedia lovefest.


  15. 15 | February 2, 2013 1:05 am

    Damn. Dead thread tonight.

    If today was GroundDog Day, Obama would celebrate with a hamburger..uhhh…poodleburger.


  16. AZfederalist
    16 | February 2, 2013 1:20 am

    Wow, quiet thread. Was watching Gold Rush and came back to jiust a few more posts than when I was here.


  17. EBL
  18. 18 | February 2, 2013 5:17 am

    Hot damn! I woke up in the USA this morning! Or at least what’s left of it…


  19. heysoos
    19 | February 2, 2013 5:48 am

    Mike C. wrote:

    Hot damn! I woke up in the USA this morning! Or at least what’s left of it…

    welcome back…it’s still here, couple new dents and scratches tho


  20. 21 | February 2, 2013 6:24 am

    @ heysoos:

    As a contrarian, and contrary to some here, I would say it still beats the crap out of any alternative I’ve visited. Needs a little work, is all…


  21. heysoos
    22 | February 2, 2013 6:43 am

    Mike C. wrote:

    @ heysoos:
    As a contrarian, and contrary to some here, I would say it still beats the crap out of any alternative I’ve visited. Needs a little work, is all…

    I try not to get too caught up with the business of govt, it’s interesting and relevant, but I refuse to accept the vision of the country thru govt as all there is to this land…I love to travel and watch America at work while the feds try so hard to divide us…I recall talking to a shrimper outside of Charleston, around Sullivans Island…we were talking about where are the shrimp are and how you catch them etc, when another boat putted up the bayou…the guy I was talking to yelled across the water to the other boat, smiling and laughing, and speaking Vietnamese…the exchange ended and he turned to me and said those guys are really good, I’ve learned alot from them…red neck shrimpers, bullshitting with their Vietnamese competition…I love this town


  22. 23 | February 2, 2013 7:05 am

    @ heysoos:

    Doesn’t happen often, but I do like it when I get into the odd good conversation with somebody that does actual work in a field that I know nothing about (which is pretty much most everything.) There’s just no end of insight you can gather from such conversations. Like a lot of other people, most of those I have job discussions with are either in my field or closely related ones, so it’s good to listen to somebody explain the complexities of a subject you know absolutely nothing about.


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