This year to celebrate Groundhog Day, send out a few free e-cards to people of your choice. It is sure to please them up, show your appreciation, and it does not cost you a penny.
Groundhog Day is annual event that marks the reaction of a groundhog to its own shadow. It is on Candlemas, or February 2nd that the groundhog, a stocky, burrowing animal also known as the woodchuck, awakes from its hibernation and peeks out of its hole.
According to tradition, if the groundhog is scared by its shadow, it returns to the warmth underground for another six weeks. However, if it doesn't see its shadow, in the case of a cloudy day, it remains above ground for the quickly approaching spring.
The tradition originated in Europe, possibly spread North by Roman legions, where centuries ago, people relied upon the predictions of the badger (a relative of the groundhog) as signaling whether or not to begin planting that year's crops.
Though by the time the practice was brought to the United States by German and British settlers, it had been largely discredited as an accurate way of foretelling the coming of spring, the ritual harks back to a time when the only weather forecasts in existence were available through interpretation of natural signs.
Groundhog Day is commemorated all over the United States, thanks to the efforts of Groundhog Clubs, local and state organizations, and the media-friendly aspect of a furry creature emerging from its hole to foretell how soon we can expect spring to arrive. According to a proverbial Scotch poem,
"If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again, "
which gives the weather on Candlemas significance without regard to a particular animal. Meanwhile, a German couplet emphasizes the size of the shadow cast by the groundhog, or other animal:
"For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May. "
If you want to celebrate this fun holiday literally, by observing the hole of a groundhog or similar creature for its appearance, you see that there are several possibilities as to what you will actually be watching for.
This is also great chance to learn more about other natural signs to which farmers and nature-lovers pay attention. The symbol of groundhog offers various avenue of exploration for those less inclined to bear the cold in order to see the groundhog.
Draw, paint, or otherwise depict the animal, and learn about its natural habitat and way of life. You can also make a project out of building a three-dimensional hole from which it can surface.
Place your construction underneath a lamp to recreate Groundhog Day on any day!
I send out way over a hundred free e-cards a month, and everyone thanks me for them. It is a great way for me to communicate with my friends, some who live on the other side of the world, and it never costs me anything.
Andrew Gibson is MD of Greeting-Cards.com. It has thousands of free ecards to choose from for birthdays and all occasions. Many people now send free e-cards to celebrate birthdays and select them from thousands of free e-cards