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May 2009


National & N.E. United States ASH Organizations

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Wishing everyone a Happy Éowumeoluc, by whichever name you choose to call it and whenever you choose to observe it.  And, as someone who was born and raised only some 20+ miles from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, I must add Happy Groundhog Day!


Earendel will be observing Ewemeolc this Sæterniht with offerings of milk and sol-cakes.

Being somewhat new to Pennsylvania, I have to ask, are there any traditions associated with Groundhog Day (other than that thing about the groundhog seeing its shadow as some kind of weather prognostication)? We have those things all over the place here. The dogs think they're toys.
To the best of my knowledge, weather forecasting is pretty much the sum total of the groundhog's role. I'll ask my grandmother when I next speak with her if she knows anything more.

Of course there are the folk expressions such as "Candlemass Day, if it be fair / Half the winter to come and mere.", or maybe more familiar, "If Candlemass Day be fair and bright / Winter will have another flight / But if Candlemass Day brings clouds and rain / Winter is gone and won't come again." I guess whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow is just the way to determine if the day is fair, or not.

Why a groundhog? It's said there were similar customs in Germany (and probably elsewhere in Europe) where a badger or some other animal had the role of prognosticator. This role was probably transferred to the groundhog in Pennsylvania because it is somewhat similar in appearance, and because they are so common to the area... they're pervasive (as you've discovered)!