Why Celebrate Groundhog Day?
Each year people watch in amazement as a fat rodent is plucked from the earth and hailed as a magical wonder of meteorology. People stare intently for his reaction, for if he sees his shadow it means six more weeks of winter. As much of the country is buried in snow on February 2nd, Groundhog Day is a day that gives people hope of an early spring.
Anthropologically speaking, Groundhog Day is a late winter fertility ritual which honors the most revered of ground burrowers and serves as a community-binding mechanism. Groundhog Day establishes bonds between society members by rooting their belief system in animistic beings.
For many people, Groundhog Day is the highlight of their social calendar - children lie awake for weeks anticipating the day and communities painstakingly prepare for the social event of the season. Quite simply, Groundhog Day is the party of the year.
Oddly, many people have problems planning and holding a Groundhog Day celebration of their own. As they come up empty-handed at the party stores looking for decorations, many people give up. Certainly, as one scours the internet, there is a dearth of information on Groundhog Day parties. It is no wonder why the celebration-minded yet tragically-uncreative have difficulty hosting a Hog Day fest.
Traditional Groundhog Day Dress
Everyone knows that formal wear is the traditional and appropriate dress for Groundhog Day. Men should be in tuxedos, preferably with tails and should always be accessorized with a fine top hat. The best top hats for Groundhog Day are made of seal skin and fashioned by a haberdasher that lives in a small village outside of Brussels. Of course, only the inner circle of the Groundhog Society know the exact name and address of this famous hat maker.
Women do have a little more flexibility than men with their costume, but they should be dressed respectfully in an evening gown that sizzles sexuality. Remember ladies, this is a fertility festival after all. Of course, for those who wish to stay away from fertility at all costs - do not rub the groundhog's chin! Rubbing a groundhog's chin has always been good luck for women looking to bear children.
Groundhog Day Top Hat
The Groundhog Piñata
Originating in Latin American Groundhog Day festivals, the groundhog piñata is an age-old tradition across many parties today. Though piñata in the shape of a groundhog are difficult to find, anyone who has ever taken 8th-grade Spanish knows how to make a piñata. Alternatively, many people think that the Looney Toon character Taz looks a lot like a rabid groundhog. Luckily, Taz piñatas are easy to come by.
Traditionally the piñata is broken after the groundhog makes his weather prediction. Also, parties usually have two piñatas: one for children and one for adults. The children's piñata is filled with candy and small toys but the adult piñata is hardly ever filled. Adults just like taking out their frustrations on the local weathermen and hate cleaning up a mess afterward.
Traditional Food and Drink for Groundhog Day
Although early Americans roasted groundhog on a spit in their celebrations of Groundhog Day, modern-day festivities shy away from consuming our burrowing friend. Many believe it is like eating rabbit on Easter or the heart of a loved one on Valentine's Day.
Most now opt for pig roasts and a medley of tropical fruit with a decidedly Hawaiian theme. No one knows why a Hawaiian dinner, poi and all, is now the thing to do - it just is. Groundhog Day centers around the country often furnish parties with hula skirts and leis. You haven't seen anything until you've seen a groundhog in a novelty coconut bra.
As far as drinks go - it's alcohol for the adults and lots of it. Seriously, you are standing out in the cold staring at a groundhog. If you're not intoxicated, there is something seriously wrong with you.
Many communities promote the health properties of drinking groundhog milk, believing that it builds strong bones and keen eyesight. Children enjoy groundhog milk as a special treat this time of year, especially when world famous groundhog milk shakes are served. Some children are even lucky enough to visit a farm where they are able to milk their own groundhog, which is an awesome experience for anyone at any age.
Read your Favorite Groundhog Books
From Peter Cotttontail to The Night Before Christmas, holidays have famous accompanying works of literature. Our family sets aside time before Groundhog Day to read some of our favorite books. It builds tradition and is great in a school or Scouting setting too.
One of our favorites is Ten Grouchy Groundhogs. This short book counts down ten grouchy groundhogs and their quest to escape their den. Inside you'll be exposed to the mythology of the scary shadow and have fun counting too.
Pin the Tail on the Groundhog
It doesn't get more fun than a person in a blindfold with a sharp pin trying to find a groundhog's hindquarters. Well, at least as much fun you can have and not end up naked. Though I have heard of some rather wild pin the tail on the groundhog collegiate-level championships.
Of course, many of you are wondering if groundhogs even have tails. Some of you just pictured a large, flat tail emerging from their posterior, but you have the wrong mammal - you are thinking of a beaver. But groundhogs do indeed have a 6-inch furry little tail.
The best pin the tail on the groundhog games are homemade.
- Sketch a large 3-foot or more picture of a groundhog sticking his hindquarters out on a piece of cardboard.
- Cut carefully around the picture, but hold on to the scrap cardboard - you'll use it for the tail later.
- Paint the picture to your liking. If you want to dress the groundhog up in a little outfit, that is permissible.
- Cut small groundhog tails out of the scrap cardboard you had earlier. You'll need to make at least one tail for everyone at your party. If you already threw the cardboard away - what is wrong with you? I told you to hold on to it! I even put it in bold - ugh...
- Glue hair onto the groundhog tails for a realistic texture. Barber shops are great places to find unwanted hair. If you are short on time, try snaking the bathtub drain, for there is always hair there.
- Stick a large sharp push pin or nail through the end of the tail. The sharper, the better.
- Blindfold everyone, stick a tail in their hand, and watch the fun happen.
Happy Groundhog Day Everyone!
The Origin of Groundhog Day
- The Ancient Origins of Groundhog Day
Each year on February 2nd, millions of people watch to see if their local groundhog sees its shadow. However, few revelers know the true history of the origins of Groundhog Day. This article explores the deep relationship between man and groundhog.
© 2012 Dan Human
Stephanie from Canada on February 01, 2013:
I honestly had no idea that people threw parties for this day. That's pretty neat. Thanks for sharing with us!
Cristina Cakes from Virginia on January 16, 2013:
This is so cute, I am definitely going to have a Groundhog Day party this year!
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on January 16, 2013:
Okay, all I could think while reading this article was Bill Murray calling the groundhog "a giant squirrel predicting the weather." Now I know what the top hats are made out of too. Great hub, voting up!
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on January 14, 2013:
I have to pick up a six pack of Woodchuck cider too - it should last me about a month or two. It is an excellent holiday to separate and here in Western New York, he have Dunkirk Dave. Cheers Dan!
outdoorsman-Dan on January 14, 2013:
Very interesting Dan, never looked at a groundhog that way before, usually on my plate next to the mash potatoes and gravy. Always looking for another Day to celebrate. Thank you for the info. I need to locate the Woodchuck Hard Cider for this years 2013 celebration.
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on February 08, 2012:
Thanks for reading girltalkshop! I hope you had a happy Groundhog Day.
girltalksshop on February 08, 2012:
Cute and interesting. Voted up! : )
Dan Human (author) from Niagara Falls, NY on January 29, 2012:
@Simone actually I believe that Arbor Day is the most under appreciated holiday, and without all the glitz and glamor of Groundhog Day - how can it compete?
@homesteadbound In reality, groundhogs or not, any day that motivates one to spend the day in some crazy observance with friends and family is going to be fun.
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on January 26, 2012:
I guess I had not considered celebrating ground hog day before, but it sounds like fun!
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 26, 2012:
Based on these recommendations, I may happily conclude that I would enjoy celebrating Groundhog Day more than any other holiday!! This must be the least appreciated holiday of the year.