Punxsutawney Phil is probably the best known ground hog in the world. He has served Punxsutawney, PA since 1887. The general idea is that if the ground hog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter, if he does not see his shadow, and stays out for a while, then spring is just around the corner. None of this is scientific of course. February 2nd is traditionally halfway through winter so there will be six more weeks of winter, though they may be milder than those that preceded it.
How to celebrate – Visit Punxsutawney (Either the town or the ground hog) Watch for ground hogs living in your area. Go outside and look for your own shadow, it will do practically the same thing.
Well if you live in a warmer climate then this day may be very important to you, its Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day. If you are in a region where it snows a lot you may want to ignore today, you probably have a lot of snow already. But if you need to create that look of snow this could be an important day for you. Naturally I do not propose you put these snowflakes in your yard, it doesn’t really look like snow as it resembles more of a garbage dump site than a field covered in snow.
How to celebrate – Make some paper snowflakes. Go outside and play in the snow if you have any. Go back to bed and wait for winter to end.
Snowman Burning Day – March 20th
This holiday is celebrated in both the United States and Switzerland as the changing of the seasons, from Winter into Spring. Now you can’t really burn a Snowman, it’s way to wet. You can melt it, but you don’t need a fire to do that, so it is a symbolic day where no one is actually proposing you burn a snowman. Unless you have had a very long Winter, you probably won’t be able to find, or build, a snowman to burn! It has been suggested that you can explode a snowman instead… but I wouldn’t suggest this.
How to celebrate – Find, or save, a snowman from Winter. Enjoy
the warmer weather. Watch Frosty the Snowman re-runs!
With winter, at least in the colder climates, very few birds stick around. Even in the southern regions birds will continue to fly as far south as they need to in order to find a warm climate. It is not that they do not like where they have been living, it simply is with the snow covered trees, shrubs and grass there is very little for them to eat. Feed them and they might not leave at all! They don’t really eat all that much and with all the seeds they drop (One way or the other) it’s sort of like planting a garden! Besides, look at those little faces, how can you deny them! Give them a break and feed them so that tomorrow morning, you’ll have something singing just outside your window.
How to celebrate – Buy some bird feed. Make sure the birds can find your feeder. Look around and see if you have any hungry birds around you.
“The soup that won the war!” Now you might wonder what war and how a soup saved that war!?! Good questions. You might call it the most American soup, or stew, ever created and it was created because there was nothing else left to create!
Well, it seems that during the American Revolution the rebels, that would be the Continental Army, were starving to death. Farmers were selling their crops to the British Army because, well, they could pay for the food but that left the American’s without much food.
The recipe came from Philadelphia. Well, sort of anyway… there wasn’t a recipe really. It basically included nearly anything one had around them, thrown into a pot and cooked until tender. The flavors varied depending on what you put in it… the key was adding pepper! Black pepper, red pepper, any kind of pepper one could find.
As stated, one of the original ingredients included tripe… the stomach of cattle. No one probably would have eaten it had they known what tripe was but since they didn’t, they enjoyed it as much as any starving person could. And in the harsh winter weather, the pepper kept them warm!
I did not say warm and happy, but warm. There is a difference. Anyway, Washington won the war, with the help of the French who surprisingly didn’t eat a lot of Pepper Pot Soup. Here’s a Pepper Pot recipe for you. Oh, and you don’t have to use tripe… unless you want to.
How to celebrate – Dress your family up like the Continental Army and feed them Pepper Pot Soup. Visit Philadelphia. Go to Valley Forge.
So, you don’t care for fruit? Try some brandied fruit! You still might not like it but if you have enough… you won’t care! So you grew a whole lot of fruit over the summer in your garden and you know it won’t keep all year long, so what do you do with it?
You throw it a Mason Jar, add some sugar and brandy and you can save it all year long! If you need to know how, here’s a recipe! It becomes something entirely new, and can be very entertaining for those long winter nights. I mean, after-all, where do you thing fruitcake came from?
Now it doesn’t look all that pretty while it’s forming, or brandy-ing, but afterwards, wow! Suddenly everybody likes fruit! You can use practically any fruit you want, raspberry, strawberry, cherries, apple, pineapple… you name it and you can brandy it. I wonder if you can brandy vegetables? This could be a whole new thing to get kids to eat their veggies!
Or, what the heck, forget about the fruit all together and just go straight for the brandy! The better the brandy you use, the better the brandied fruit will be… obviously. And think about it, most alcoholic drinks are made from some sort of fruit… like wine.
How to celebrate – Brandy some fruit today. (Remember to pick it first!) Experiment, brandy whatever you like and see if it tastes better! Remember to buy some Mason Jars for your food storage.
Well now that winter is on it’s way out, supposedly, it’s a great day to finally celebrate Earmuff Day! Since nobody would have given you that second glance wearing them when it was freezing and snowing they would not have stood out as much. Now that the weather is getting warmer, people will see them!
Chester Greenwood was the first to patent his invention of ear mufflers on March 13th, 1877. I can only assume that someone, somewhere, had created earmuffs earlier than 1877 so the key word here is patent. Although since nearly everyone before that time wore their hair longer so who knows, maybe they didn’t need them!
Naturally, some will get carried away, that should go unsaid. I mean, why not make a fashion statement out of your earmuffs, particularly if you are going to wear them when they are no longer really needed. They may also come in handy when you really don;t want to hear what someone else is saying… they give you an excuse for not hearing them… in which case, men would probably wear them all the time.
Ear muffs are a good idea. They keep your ears warm which lets face it, are not particular a part of your body that is protected by a lot of fat.
How to celebrate – Wear your earmuffs today. Create your own design for some earmuffs. Learn how to say “what” in many different languages.
Will there be six more weeks of winter or will things finally start heading towards spring? It all depends on whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not. If he sees his shadow we will experience another 6 weeks of winter. Apparently he sees his shadow 9 out of every 10 times!
The use of the ground hog to find out about the coming weather is a German tradition going back to the use of a Hedge Hog in Germany somewhere in the early 1800’s. It fell in line with Candlemas (which is also celebrated today), the last day of the Christmas celebration.
Punxsutawney Phil has been a tradition in Pennsylvania since 1877 but the ground hog does not really predict winters end (but you probably knew that already). What does matter is whether it’s a sunny day or a cloudy day. If it’s a sunny day, he will always see his shadow. If he sees his shadow, it’s another six weeks of winter.
But it’s okay if you want to believe Punxsutawney has magical powers or not. We also believe in Santa (though St. Nick was real), we believe a black cat crossing our path is bad luck (I still don’t know why), and that there is a man in the moon.
How to celebrate – Wake up and find out what Phil has to say! Celebrate Candlemas. If Phil sees his shadow, go out and play, if he does not, go back to bed.
There is nothing like snow. Well, maybe ice and frost, but not much else. And it is the season for snow, the real kind. But if you live in the south you don’t normally see a lot of the white stuff from nature, so today is the day to make your own.
Now I wouldn’t suggest trying to ski on it, or even build a snowman, in fact I probably wouldn’t even put it outside. However, when you make your own snowflakes you are showing your individuality just as with every snowflake that falls. No two should be perfectly alike, even if you have to make slight variations on purpose.
They don’t even have to look like traditional fake snowflakes, or as I like to call them… snowfakes. The good thing about them is that you don’t have to go out and shovel them, unless you really go to the extreme, and they aren’t wet, at least let us hope they aren’t wet.
Your snowflakes though should be just like ever person you know, no one exactly the same. In fact you could even create snowflakes and give them a personality like the people you know. A little warped, tiny, extra large, twisted… whatever you like!
So let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! So long as you have paper and scissors, you can make as many as you want!
How to celebrate – Get busy, cut out a bunch of snowflakes. They don’t have to be made from paper either, they could be chalk, paint or any substance you want to use! (Though I do advise keeping it legal. Name each snowflake you make.