The hoopla over the Groundhog Day prediction is more amusing that people realize. (Article, “Ohio seeks death penalty for bad groundhog forecast.”) The simple truth is, the groundhog’s prediction is never wrong!
In a manner of speaking, it has been celebrated for more than 2,000 years without ever being wrong. The day itself is a relic of the feast days of the ancient Nordic calendar, which focused on the midpoints of the seasons. To them, the first day of winter ws less significant than the middle of the winter, which falls on Feb. 2. The middle of spring is May Day. Shakespeare celebrated the Midsummer Night, while we continue to celebrate Samhain, otherwise known as Halloween.
In every case, the celebration marks the exact midpoint of the season, so the old groundhog can never be wrong. If it sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it does not see its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.
George W. Harper