What did we learn from Groundhog Day?

Well, Groundhog Day has come and gone, and what do we know?  According to Wikipedia, someone actually tracks this from various festivals, and 9 of the 21 groundhogs tracked predicted 6 more weeks of winter.   The most famous one, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter.  Also, to get scientific, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that groundhogs’ overall prediction accuracy is around 39 percent.  That doesn’t seem very good.   Although, I wonder how accurate most weathermen are…

But all this is a moot point anyway.  The official first day of Spring is almost 7 weeks after Groundhog Day.  And besides that, the whole thing seems backwards.   If he doesn’t seem his shadow, it means winter will soon end.   But here it was all cloudy and cold, looking and feeling very much like winter.  A sunny day would seem more like spring is on the way.  But what do I know?  I’m no groundhog (though I have been known to do some weather prognosticating from time to time).

Did you know Groundhog Day originally involved badgers or bears?  Today it seems widely accepted to use groundhogs, but that is changing in some parts:

In Alaska, February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state. The holiday was created by a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature in 2009 and signed by then-Governor Sarah Palin that year.

Okay, the tradition is silly enough in premise.   I understand getting together to party and eat, but do people really take this seriously?  Apparently so, if the Alaska Legislature is going to waste the time creating and voting on a bill about it.  But I don’t know why…

On a more random note, in the video game Animal Crossing (the GameCube version), the mayor announces on February 2nd that it’s the day “the groundhog fairy comes around to give groundhogs to all the good little boys and girls”.   That’s random…