February 2, 2013

Happy vintage Groundhog Day wishes!




Groundhog's Day has never carried quite the same ├ęclat as other holidays - indeed there are plenty out there who don't even consider it to be one, perhaps because so little fuss is generally made about it outside of Pennsylvania. To be fair, it isn't truly classified as a holiday, yet I've always viewed it as one, and adore the fact that we, rather preciously, employ a furry little critter to help determine (perhaps not always accurately) if we're in for an early spring or another six weeks of winter.




Some people dismiss Groundhog's Day because of it's seemingly silly premise, but if you think about it, there's really nothing stranger about the idea of a rodent being able to predict the weather than there is of a (huge!) rabbit delivering candy to children at Easter. No matter how seriously you take Punxsutawney Phil's metrological abilities, I think we can all agree that this time of the year - as we continue to slog through the tail end of winter, with all it's ice, snow, and dingy slush, is one that calls for all the fun and celebrate we can drum up.




I'd venture to say that many of us haven't though too much about Groundhog's Day since we were in school, but I've always made a point of celebrating it in some small way or another (yes, very much including watching Bill Murray's classic 90s film of the same name on it), especially since it is an event that's steeped in history, stretching back to the 18th or 19th century Pennsylvania, depending on your source (with earlier roots still in the ancient European tradition and lore of using a badger or a bear to help determine springtime weather).




Groundhog's Day will likely never rise to the status of a statutory holiday, or even one such as Valentine's or St. Patrick's Day, that we observe far and wide with great gusto, but it is a fun way to usher in February, smiling all the while over the idea that a cute little animal might be able to spare us from another month and a half of winter's icy wrath.




Up here in Canada, the cold season usually lasts until about April (or longer, depending on what part of the country you live in), and I remember thinking as a child that it might be more fitting if the groundhog made his prediction around the middle of March, instead of the start of February! No matter though, it's still sweet, and completely fun, to let February 2nd be the day from which onwards we may - or may not - be spared more of winter's notorious fury.




Whether you put stock in Phil's prediction or not, there's no denying that he's one mighty adorable critter and that it's fun to have a little light hearted celebration at the beginning of second month of the year. I love Groundhog's Day (so much so that a few months back I started a Pinterest board devoted just to it called Gearing up for Groundhog Day) and hope you'll join me today in the merriment and fun of this endearingly charming mid-winter tradition.




{To learn more about a specific image, please click on it to be taken to its respective source.}



Happy Groundhog's Day, everyone - here's to hoping that the darling little critter doesn't see his shadow!


31 comments:

  1. He he! Cute posters - thanks for sharing. I think the idea of Ground Hog Day is sweet. And, as you say, it's no stranger than the idea of a giant rabbit delivering chocolate eggs. It's a slightly silly example of it, but it's nice to think that some heed is still given to the natural world, seasonal cycles, and animal activities being a sign of changes in the weather...

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  2. We definitely celebrate Groundhog Day here in Staten Island, NYC. Staten Island is the residence of Staten Island Chuck, a feisty little critter who lives in the zoo and who took a chunk out of Mayor Bloomberg's finger a couple of years ago. HA! It was all over the papers that Chunk is a longtime Democrat and showed his dislike of the mayor's policies by biting him. hehehe ... Chuck is also considered Phil's arch-rival, so it's pretty darned amazing that both Phil and he predicted an early spring.

    Thanks for your amazing blog and this fun post. :) Have a very Happy Groundhog Day!

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    1. Thank you very much for your wonderfully kind compliment and terrific comment, dear lady. I didn't get wind of that story up here in Canada. Oh my, who would have thought that even groundhogs had political leanings. ;)

      Wishing you a fantastic February,
      ♥ Jessica

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  3. Hello Jessica

    I love this folklore tradition, plus Bill Murray's movie is one of my favorite comedy film from the 90's.
    It's a good thing you've posted it,I always remember it every single year, but in Europe is not tradition right now...even many sources say otherwise,in terms of its roots.

    (Spanish wikipedia article says, the roots could be Irish because of the 2nd day of any month is always overcast! haha you are not gonna believe this but It was so sunny out this morning ;)

    Love,
    Lorena xx

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  4. Very cute! I love cute furry animals, I can't believe a groundhog let a little girl hold it! I thought they were afraid of people and stayed away!?

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    1. I adore cute furry (and non-furry) animals, too! I tend to think that most groundhogs would be shy and weary of humans as well, but perhaps this one had been raised by humans and was thus less afraid of being held (just a theory).

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear gal,
      ♥ Jessica

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  5. I just adore anything to do with this classic folk holiday! The movie was my first introduction many years ago and I have been fascinated ever since (we don't have it here). Thanks for all the cute pickies. xx Shauna

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  6. I've always been on board with ANY holiday revolving around animals :) Those vintage photos of Phil are priceless! So so cute.

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  7. Oh, we don't have this tradition in the UK but it sounds like fun! I would certainly love to know when winter might end, but I guess it's all relative as our temperatures never really get as low as yours. One of my mother's favourite sayings is, "N'er cast a clout 'til May is out", basically keep your vest and coat on until the end of May unless you want to catch a chill!!

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    1. Wise words from your dear mother indeed! That's so very true here in Canada, too. When I lived in the province of Alberta, I would have extended it until at least June. :)

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear Philippa,
      ♥ Jessica

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  8. Happy Groundhog Day! It's certainly one of those holidays that just seems to slip by before you even have a chance to consider it, but a worthwhile and fun one none-the-less.

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    1. Thank you, my dear! A very happy Groundhog Day and February to you as well. I agree, it one of those days that can whiz past before your even realized it was here in the first place - that's certainly happened to me a few times before, too.

      ♥ Jessica

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  9. Oh Jessica.....I love your outlook on things! Reading your post put a great big smile on my face today.

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  10. Up until recently (being Australian) I had no idea groundhog day was really a thing. I just thought it was something made up for the movie LOL. Now I have so many questions and am off to goggle.

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  11. Nice post. Pretty pictures. I have a fun anecdote about this.

    A few years ago, I was riding my motorcycle across the country. Returning home from North Dakota, I took random local roads in the spirit of exploration. Passing through PA, I came upon a small town named Punxsutawney and thought, "That sounds familiar; I wonder why." Pretty quickly I started to see Groundhog this and Groundhog that. Groundhogs everywhere! I stopped in the town center and they had a huge wooden sculpture honoring Phil. It was surreal, largely because my visit was so unexpected. I'll never forget that.

    Oh, and Bill Murray's movie is great.

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    1. Thank you very much, Ally! I really wanted to kick this month off on a fun, lighthearted note, especially since it seems so many I know had a rocky, stressful January. Thank you for sharing that cool story with me (us). I'd love to visit Punxsutawney one day myself, too, and say hello to some of those darling little groundhogs in person. :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  12. We don't know Ground Hog Day over here, but it sounds like fun!

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  13. I think these holidays are quite fun! They make me feel the same way as county fairs. Quaint and cute with a lot of nostalgia.
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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  14. Lovely post :D!!! I LOVE the movie Groundhog Day (Bill Murray is one of my all time favourite actors). I think it is great that there is a community of people who get together and celebrate Groundhog Day, as celebrating is wonderful. Anything good that brings a community together is awesome :)

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  15. What a sweet post! I love all the vintage posters and post cards featuring the unpredictable beaver. For some people it does mean 6 more weeks of the dreaded winter. But for us in Indiana, we never know what tomorrow may be. One day it may be 60 or 70 degress and the next may be 9 or 15 degrees. I guess that's all the fun in not knowing. Because if we did know what was going to happen in the future we'd spend all our time preparing not enjoying life.

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  16. as being a german, all i knew about groundhog's day was the movie with bill murray ... now i know a lot more about it. ;)
    when i was a child i read anovel about austrian groundhogs ... but i barely remember the story.

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  17. Oh yes, it is great tradition, I like it very much. Even here in Ukraine we started following it. Our groundhog Tymko (Tim) told the spring will come soon, but will be pretty cold. We'll see :)

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  18. Aww, he is so cute! This is great because I was just wondering the other day how Groundhog Day came about. I love all the vintage posters!

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  19. I might just have to print out that "cut out" ground hog for decoration! Punxsutawney's claim to fame!

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    1. Totally go for it! I'm thinking I'll do the same next year, too, as I've never (save perhaps for eons ago in the early years of grade school) decorated for Groundhog Day and it's high time I did! :)

      ♥ Jessica

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  20. As you say Jessica, Groundhog Day is no weirder than the idea of a giant bunny delivering eggs, that's a good way of looking at it. As Missfairchildscharmschool mentioned, my first knowledge of Groundhog Day was the film and for quite a while I believed it had been made up for the film too. I think it's a sweet idea and any fun event at this gloomy time of year would be very welcome. I feel like I get through the beginning of winter because of Hallow'ene, Bonfire night and Christmas, then after that there's nothing to look forward to for ages. xx

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    1. Indeed, we need more holidays this time of the year. There's Valentine's Day, yes, but not everyone is a huge fan of that (though I am myself). In general, actually, I've felt ever since I was a little girl that we (particularly in the western world) have a serious shortage of holidays every year. Perhaps we should launch a campaign for "Vintage Day", an international holiday devoted to awesomeness of all things yesteryear. :)

      Thank you very much for your comment, my dear - I really hope February is a fantastic month for you.

      ♥ Jessica

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  21. Oh how adorable!!!!! These groundhogs kind of looks like oversized guinea pigs!

    I love the idea of this tradition! I remember living in Russia I used to get so excited about the snow starting to melt, although I am not aware if there is such a tradition like that there.

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  22. I was quite amused when the BBC news channel stopped everything to cut to the Groundhog ceremony the other day! But then they do like to lighten things up which leads to some amusing moments, like the recent Mayan calendar hoo-hah, when they purposely paused just to see if it was going to happen! I too thought Groundhog Day was made up for the film so was pleased indeed to see it was real xxx

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  23. Much more fun reading about Ground Hog Day than the Super Bowl! The post has also brought a fond memory to mind. Years ago when one of my kids was just a toddler and we had a large field behind our house, we were taking a walk when a furry critter ambled into the woods. "Look Mommy, there's a ground chuck!" Glad to see that you are celebrating at every opportunity!

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Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts, questions, and opinions with me. I read and sincerely appreciate each comment I receive - they brighten my day like rays of sparkling sunshine.

♥ Jessica