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From: A Furry Book of Days

As you no doubt know, Ground Hog Day is ultimately derived from an Austra-Hungarian spring ritual wherein the local groundhog community would each eat a slice of a cake prepared by the nagyban kismalac, or "Head Hog," which contained a single burned alfalfa pellet. The groundhog that found the burned pellet in his cake would be chosen by the village to have the cat spayed or neutered. If he did not return it was said that he had "seen his shadow," and the rest of the groundhogs would stay indoors for the next four weeks. In more modern times, the groundhog underground exiles one of its numbers every year Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania, to die of media exposure. Those of us that are not complicit in these dark, subterranean politics can use this day to give our favorite groundhog a hug and a scritch behind the ears. Chuff, chuff!

[Editor's note: or for those who like actual facts, Groundhog day is the American adaptation of Candlemas, the Catholic church's blessing of the candles for the year. The weather on this day was a good--appparently 28% reliable, according to Punxsutawany Phil--barometer for the forthcoming winter. In Germany they watched badgers instead of groundhogs, which must be a damnsight more entertaining.]

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
spottylogic
Feb. 2nd, 2005 07:24 am (UTC)
Hmm--need to reformat that calendar for 2005...
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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