Our calendars are filled with some really dumb days that are not necessarily holidays but I guess important enough for some people to observe them.  Among them are Pancake Day, Boxing Day, International Men’s Day and International Women’s Day and my personal favorite Wiggle Your Toes Day which is August 6 and share’s the spotlight that day with National Root Beer Float Day which I’m a big fan of.

Let me make a case for including Groundhog Day which of course is today on that list.  For some reason this has become a somewhat popular tradition which originated in parts of Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries by those of German descent. The custom which still exists today has a groundhog coming out of its burrow and if it sees its shadow it will run back into its hole and we have another six weeks of winter.  However if this large rodent does not see its shadow it will stay out and spring is right around the corner.

Of course the most well-known celebration of this stupid day takes place in the Western PA town of Punxsutawney which was the setting for the popular movie starring Bill Murray fittingly named Groundhog Day.  The town goes all out to mark the occasion and their varmint is affectionately named “Phil.”  He or she is not the original as their life expectancy is just three years but the name stays.  I actually feel bad for “Phil” who is pretty much forced out of his hole only to be greeted by a bunch of nerdy guys wearing high hats.

By the way like everything else the February 2nd event has been copied by other places including New York City’s Staten Island Chuck and in New Jersey Milltown Mel.  However Mel’s watch is up as he died this past weekend and the event in the Middlesex County borough has been cancelled. I guess another groundhog was not available to take Mel’s place on such short notice.

By the way there is no statistical evidence that today’s ceremony means anything more than a way for a group of people to get through a cold winter day and scare the heck out of a rodent who really just wants to sleep.


LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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