Groundhog Day brightens up post Christmas season holiday lull


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Groundhog predicts an early spring on Feb. 2.

Tyler Hotz, Copyeditor

When I was eight, my third-grade teacher took my class outside to the most anticipated day of the year. We had a longer recess: heaven to my small ears.

My friends and I ran across the large playground to the monkey bars. We jumped the highest we could from the rough, pebbled ground to the smooth bars. My arms swung forward, caught the next bar, and kept going.

We continued for half an hour on those bars; 10 minutes more than we would get on a normal day.

After recess, we lined up to the cafeteria. The television was on, a beautiful landscape and cute cottage on the screen. It was Feb. 2, and Punxsutawney Phil was about to arrive to look for his shadow. It was Groundhog Day.

Groundhog Day meant more recess, which meant more time to play (which meant less time for school.) It was only 10 minutes, but it felt like an hour.

When I think of Groundhog Day, I don’t think of it as a silly day; it’s a beautiful display of nature. Therefore, I believe Groundhog Day should be appreciated as a holiday.

Our society doesn’t value nature as much as it does material items. We rarely have opportunities to enjoy it, and many people opt to stay inside because it’s a controllable, comfortable environment. Although that may be true, nature is unconscious and unpredictable. You get what you get with it, which is why it’s so beautiful.

I think it’s a great idea to celebrate nature, especially with one of its most underrated animals. Groundhogs, which are also known as woodchucks, are adorably furry, chubby and grumpy-looking.

To those who doubt his accuracy: look at meteorologists. They seem like great people, but do they really know the weather? As the saying goes, groundhogs make mistakes.

We appreciate turkeys on Thanksgiving, who run after you angrily, so why not have a day for a cute rodent to tell us what season it’s going to be? Turkeys don’t do anything, at least the groundhog gives us a clue. And it doesn’t involve killing them.

There are only a few holidays in the year that are for pure entertainment. Some of them honor tragic events, while others pay homage to the death of an influential person. Groundhog Day is a pure, fantastic display of nature at its finest hour; and according to the good old guy with no shadow, spring is coming early this year. You can’t deny that’s great news.

Groundhog Day is also one of the only holidays that hasn’t been made into a marketing scheme. Capitalists aren’t gaining anything from our celebration of the mighty groundhog, so there’s no secret guilt to feel, like when you’re purchasing a Christmas tree.

More people should support Groundhog Day. It’s a positive, interesting holiday with nothing but good intentions, and that deserves to be celebrated.