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Groundhog Day...Where did it Come From?


February 2nd is half way between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Therefore, it is befitting that everyone wonders whether it will be spring soon or if the cold winter weather will continue for a while longer.   In order to get a sense of the future forecast several people throughout history, including the Germans, created a tradition based on whether an animal, such as badgers or hedgehogs, see their shadow on this mid-point day.  When the Germans settled in Pennsylvania they brought the custom of an animal forecaster to their new homeland choosing a groundhog to predict the future weather since they were more plentiful in the area.  


For years now, specifically starting in 1887, Americans have looked to one animal from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to make this prediction.  Initially, the event consisted of a group of businessmen known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club who trekked to Gobbler’s Knob to coax Phil out of his resting place.  If he saw his shadow, then we were in for six more weeks of winter.  No shadow, an early spring.   


This tradition continues to this day, with the baton handed to a group called the Inner Circle, local dignitaries who oversee the event.  In the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, the group wears top hats and conducts the proceedings in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. It is said that they speak to the groundhog in “Groundhogese.”  But, who knows! 






Throughout the years, the event has become so popular it has become a weeklong celebration.  The event owes part of it's popularity to the 1993 film, Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.  Thousands of people descend on Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for the festivities which culminate with Phil coming out of his burrow to make his prediction.   Are you one of these tradition seekers?  


How about another idea?  You could start your own tradition with the design on your smartphone case.  With Swaponz, you could display some beautiful spring flowers or a fun winter scene!  See what inspires you that day and you can display your forecast in your hand ALL day!  Whether you believe in Phil's prediction or yours, it is a great excuse for a party and for swapping out the design on your smartphone case to make your smartphone YOUR smartphone!  


Swap on!




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