Groundhog Day is a funky celebration held every year on February 2. But for me, much more interesting than the question, "What is Groundhog Day?" is the issue of the psychological significance of February 2 and how it ties in with the Spring Equinox.
I want to elaborate on that significance a bit today -- especially from a gardener's perspective -- while also requesting some input from you.
Even those who pooh-pooh Groundhog Day will have to admit one moderately interesting fact: namely, that Groundhog Day is the only holiday about weather. Coincidence? I think not. Groundhog Day occurs at a time of year when weather occupies Northerners' thoughts more thoroughly than at any other time of the year. That goes doubly for gardeners, who are itching to get winter over with and begin the planting season. Mired in the throes of winter, our state of mind is not unlike that of Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in the Groundhog Day movie, when he quips:
"You want a prediction about the weather? You're asking the wrong Phil [i.e., Punxsutawney Phil]. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life."
But there's something else about Groundhog Day that is not coincidental: the date on which it falls. February 2 marks the exact mid-point of winter. As such, Groundhog Day is something of a milepost for the winter-weary. Celebrating the attainment of such mileposts on the calendar is one way to beat the winter blues.
How do you feel about all this? I'd like to hear your opinion regarding Groundhog Day, whether it be about:
- "Celebrating" Groundhog Day
- How silly a holiday you think it is
- Strategies for keeping your sanity during the long winter