Thursday, February 04, 2010

Culture Focus: Groundhog Day

February 2 was Groundhog Day. It is not an official holiday. It comes from an old tradition. People watch and wait for a groundhog to come out of his hole in the ground.

According to folklore, if the groundhog sees his shadow, he will be scared and go back into the hole. This means that we will have six more weeks of winter.

On the other hand, if the groundhog does not see his shadow, he will stay out of his hole. This means there will be an early spring.

In the United States, the most famous groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This groundhog was made famous in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

Another name for “groundhog” is “woodchuck.” There is an old joke about the woodchuck:

Question: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Answer: He’d chuck all the wood a woodchuck could chuck!

Here, “chuck” means the same as “throw.”

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