Groundhog Day 2023: Beliefs and origin of the tradition + fun crafts for kids!
Do you love winter? Or can’t wait for the warm spring to come so you can finally take a walk in the nature that is just starting to wake up? The traditional Groundhog Day celebration in the US and Canada will answer whether the cold days will stick around or give way to warmer weather! In today’s article, we’ll tell you in detail about Groundhog Day 2023 – where this unusual tradition originated, when it’s celebrated, and we’ll also give you some suggestions for fun crafts for kids! Keep reading!
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Groundhog Day 2023: What exactly is it?
Groundhog Day is a favorite holiday of people in the United States and Canada and is considered a day of the four-legged furry meteorologists. On this day, the groundhog emerges from its den after hibernation. Whether spring will come soon, depends on how quickly it returns to it. If the animal sees its shadow (i.e. if it is a sunny day), it will return to its den, which means there will be about six more weeks of winter and cold weather. However, if it doesn’t see a shadow (cloudy weather), then spring is just around the corner. It’s also important to note if the groundhog will come right back inside or stay out for a while. If it comes straight back into the cabin, a cold snap will occur. And if it stays outside for a while, spring is on its way.
What day is Groundhog Day always on?
Groundhog Day is always on February 2, every year. In the early hours of the day, a large group of people gather at Gobbler’s Knob in anticipation of the weather forecast. Members of the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle plan and participate in the event each year. One of them is given the responsibility to perform the most important ritual of getting Punxsutawney Phil out of his burrow and listening to him whisper in his ear what the weather for the next six weeks will be like. This forecast is then told to the many people who have specially arrived in Punxsutawney to witness this exciting event.
Where does the tradition come from?
In fact, the tradition comes from ancient times. Back in Ancient Rome, people celebrated Hedgehog Day in early February. They observed the animal’s behavior and judged by it the weather forecast for the coming weeks. In northern Germany, the badger woke up at that time too, which became their indicator of the coming spring or the ongoing winter. In America, Groundhog Day has its origins in the folklore of German settlers who brought their traditions to Pennsylvania (known as Pennsylvania Dutch) in the 18th century. Here, however, the important task of predicting the weather falls to the groundhog, hence the beginning of a tradition well known to all Americans.
Groundhog Day: Fun activities and crafts for kids
The tradition of Groundhog Day is definitely a favorite of children, which is also a great reason to engage them in different crafts or activities that will develop some of their skills and further strengthen their interest in customs, art and history. That’s why we suggest you check out a few of our suggestions for fun crafts and activities to celebrate Groundhog Day with your kids!
Hand and foot poster
Get your children’s attention by making a Groundhog Day poster together. It doesn’t have to be very big, even a normal A4 sheet will do a great job. Choose a suitable short text that says about how the groundhog makes its weather forecast. Print it at the top of the sheet. If you have more than one child, make more copies, so that each child can have its own sheet. The children then should draw the groundhog in its habitat. It would be a lot of fun if they use their hands and feet to make footprints (use harmless paints that wash off easily) and finish drawing the rest to make a woodland scene.
Fun pop-up craft
Another great idea that would really appeal to kids is to make a pop-up groundhog. For this you will need a paper cup, popsicle or sucker stick, tape and a pair of scissors. Have your child draw the groundhog, color it, and then carefully (help them) cut it out according to the outline. Use tape to secure the stick to the groundhog. Finally, make a hole in the bottom of the cup and pass the stick through it. This way, the child will be able to move the groundhog up and down. It would be great if you darken the room slightly and point a flashlight at the cup, at which point the child should push the stick up and the groundhog will show (comes out of its burrow), and behind it the child will be able to see its shadow. Ask them if the animal has also been able to see it and what the weather will be like in this case!