Happy Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil apparently saw his shadow this morning, so batten down the hatches for another 6 weeks of chilly weather.

Groundhog Day PA DutchThis annual tradition has a couple of connections to the Penn. Dutch.  First, there happens to be a sizable Amish settlement in Clearfield County in the vicinity of Punxsutawney, PA (1,000+ people).  I don’t know of any groundhog-related customs associated with this settlement (but maybe there’s a Baked Amish Groundhog ‘n’ Butter Noodles recipe I haven’t heard about?) so I think that is basically geographical coincidence.

Groundhog Day does have an interesting back story connected with Pennsylvania German society though:

Groundhog Day has origins in 18th-century Pennsylvania German culture. The custom’s roots supposedly reach even further to Europe, where there was a tradition of making weather predictions based on animal behavior, that of the badger in particular. A later development was the Groundhog (Grundsow) Lodge…

Read more about Grundsow Lodges and groundhogs.

Photo credit: groundhog.org

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