February 2nd is Groundhog Day – a day celebrated throughout North America. This day represents the midpoint of winter, or the start of spring. (unless you live on the Eastern Seaboard – or should I say Snowboard?)
According to North American folklore, it is necessary on the 2nd of February each year to hold an early morning festival to watch a portly rodent emerge from his winter burrow. If the day is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back down his burrow. That results in us being doomed to six more weeks of hell frozen over. Naturally, most of us will be rooting for our rodent friend to not see his shadows, and therefore call for an early spring. A few fun facts about Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Media Darlings
Many people are familiar with the most famous American media darlings, Punxsutawney Phil, and Chuckles (I thru VIII), who have stolen the limelight because they have drawn crowds of up to 40,000 since the late 1800’s.
Unfortunately, Groundhogs generally only live roughly 6 to 8 years. This year we lost some of our famous ones. In Sussex County, NJ today’s Groundhog Day ceremony was cancelled after the local marmot died Monday night. And in Canada, forecasters had to do without the help of Manitoba groundhog Winnipeg Willow. He lived at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Winnipeg and passed away on Friday night
The Groundhog Day tradition became extremely popular in Canada in 1956 when Wiarton Willie became a household name for his early February “weather predictions”. He now has his own statue in Wiarton, ON. Other Canadian groundhogs known to stick their head out of the ground on February 2nd include: Gary the Groundhog in Ontario, Brandon Bob in Manitoba, Balzac Billy in Alberta, Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia and “Fort Howe Howie” who worked with CBC Radio New Brunswick in the early 90’s. Here are a few of the little fellas rounded up together.
For many of us Groundhog Day will forever be tied to the 1993 Bill Murray movie of the same name. His character, Phil Connors, is an arrogant and egocentric weatherman who is reluctantly sent to cover a story about a weather forecasting “rat”. On awaking the ‘following’ day, Phil Connors discovers that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and stuck in an eternal time loop. Initially Phil uses this to his advantage, but soon comes to the realization this can be both a blessing and a curse – being doomed to spend the rest of eternity in the same place, seeing the same people doing the same thing EVERY single day. “Didn’t we do this yesterday?”
In 2006, the movie Groundhog Day was added to the United States National Film Registry. It was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. The phrase “Groundhog Day” is now a common reference to an unpleasant situation that continually repeats the same events or actions – seems to. The term is also associated with a tale of self-improvement. The character Phil Connors learned there is a genuine need to look inside oneself and realize that the only satisfaction in life comes from turning outward – concerning oneself with others rather than concentrating solely on one’s own wants and desires. Overcoming his initial frustrations, Phil re-examined his life, his priorities, made every moment count and became much less self-centered by putting others ahead of himself. What a concept?
Have you ever considered or thought about?
- An amazing day that you wanted to live it over and over and over again?
- Do you ever feel like some things in your job are reminiscent of a Groundhog Day experience and what you can do to rectify that?
- Is there a particularly wretched day that you would like to do over? What would you change? How would you change it?
- Would re-examining your priorities and /or challenges serve to improve your life? What do you need to do to begin taking steps in a new direction?
- Is it time to re-evaluate where you are in your career and where you want to head?
I wanted to share a few moments from the 1993 film Groundhog Day with you.
And if you are interested, watch the real deal here.
So what is the outcome of today’s event? Not all our furry friends were in agreement.
“This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype.” –Bill Murray ‘Groundhog Day’ 1993