Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Winter!?

Thanks a lot, Phil.  I, personally, was hoping for an early spring!  For those of you who are not from the US or Canada, today is Groundhog Day.  Supposedly, this holiday began in the 18th or 19th century by the Pennsylvania Dutch, as a form or weather prediction.  According to tradition, once the groundhog is removed from his burrow, observers determine whether or not Phil saw his shadow.  If the groundhog sees his shadow, he will go back to his burrow and we will continue to have six more weeks of winter.

Here are some fun facts you may not have known about Groundhog Day:
1. Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has not seen it 15 times, and nine years are unaccounted for.

2. The National Climatic Data Center reportedly stated that Phil's predictions have been correct 39 percent of the time. This number is in conflict with Phil's club, which states he's been right 100 percent of the time.

3. In the years following the release of Groundhog Day, a 1993 film starring Bill Murray, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the ceremony takes place.

4. Though groundhogs typically live only six to eight years, Groundhog Day lore suggests that Phil drinks a magic elixir every summer, which gives him seven more years of life.

Here's a cute little craft that children can make out of pom poms, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.  To extend this Groundhog Day activity, make a burrow out of brown clay!

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