By Rebecca Todd
The Hendricks County Flyer
Fri Feb 01, 2013, 04:31 PM EST
As I write this, I am anxiously awaiting an important day in most American's lives. I'm looking forward to the parties and the cheers but am also wondering, as most are; who will win? Who will lose? I can't wait for the day to arrive!
There's always the big build up; the opening ceremonies, the speculation, the party preparation. It's an exciting time for all of us.
Then suddenly, the time has arrived! The cheers are deafening as the players take the field. The excitement is palpable in the air.
All predictions thus far are for a win for the winter to be short and spring to be early. The forecasts calls for overcast weather and that means that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow and therefore ...
Wait, what? You thought I was talking about something else? What?
Oh, right. There's some kind of big football game coming up. I forgot about that. No, I'm talking about Groundhog's Day, of course. What could be more exciting than Groundhog's Day?
Okay, you got me. I really don't give a rip about Groundhog's Day. I've always wondered who first thought of sitting around waiting for a bucked-toothed rodent to poke his head out of the ground and why they thought it had anything to do with spring.
It turns out Groundhog's Day is kind of like a fruitcake. It's a convoluted mess with bits and pieces of several old beliefs chopped up and mixed together to form a new belief.
Belief number one comes to us from the Delaware Indians who believed that "their forebears began life as animals in Mother Earth and emerged centuries later to hunt and live as men." The "Wojak" or woodchuck, a.k.a. groundhog, was believed to be their ancestral grandfather.
You just can't make this stuff up.
Enter the Germans, who had long celebrated Candlemas on Feb. 2 when they all lit candles and placed them in their windows. Candlemas is the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring solstice and it was believed that if the day was overcast, spring would arrive early and if it was sunny, winter would continue.
Why did they think this? It comes from a pagan celebration known as Imbolc, which I really don't want to get into here. Mainly because it confuses me as it involves ... um, something about a giant doll, a saint, and a pregnant sheep. I'm sure you see the connection.
So to make a long story short, the Delaware Indians and the Germans both settled in Punxsutawney, Pa., and all these beliefs were mixed into the batter that eventually evolved into Groundhog's Day, when we all light candles, make giant dolls, and revere pregnant sheep and the sainted, grandfatherly, buck-toothed Wojak while we wait for spring.
It disturbs me, therefore, that the American tradition of a giant football celebration has been moved dangerously close to Imbolc Candlemas Wojak Day. Now we have to add cheering, tackling, nachos, and chicken wings into the mix.
A hundred years from now, people are going to be very, very confused about Feb. 2.
- Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book "What's the Point?" available at booklocker.com. Contact her at email@example.com.
Will the current V.A. backlog on veterans’ compensation claims be the next scandal to hit the administration?
Currently, the backlog is at 865,000 plus compensation claims with a wait time of greater than 125 days.
June 18, 2013
Apparently, it is not enough to tolerate, accept, or even endorse the gay agenda. Now, unless you tolerate and accept criminal behavior committed by gays, you are a hater.
Believe it — that is the very public argument being made in behalf of Florida high school cheerleader Kaitlyn Hunt, 18, who faces criminal charges for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Word on the street and in the media is that it will be a really bad summer for mosquitoes. Or should I say, it will be a really bad summer for humans, because it will be a great year for thirsty mosquitoes.
June 14, 2013
As a Christian, I feel compelled to respond to a recent letter to the editor.
When Barack Obama announced his presidential campaign back in February 2007, he did it in front of the old Springfield, Ill., Statehouse in a speech full of references to Abraham Lincoln.
Ordinarily I don’t take requests, but a bunch of people have written to ask how I’m doing with my weight-loss surgery and I thought this might be the most efficient way to answer.
June 11, 2013
I am a grandmother who went to the Brownsburg graduation ceremony on June 7 and due to very poor planning on Brownsburg School’s part, I could not sit and watch my twin grandsons graduate in person. I was directed to an overflow room where I had to watch it on a TV screen and could not even take pictures.
What you are now hearing across the land is a collective whine. Blue-state Democrats are upset that Texas Gov. Rick Perry dares come and play in their sandboxes, and worse, threatens to “poach” jobs from their states.
The website Politico reports that Perry’s attempts to lure jobs to Texas are “infuriating to prominent Democrats around the country.”
I am the first to admit I am behind the times when it comes to technology. I remember way back in the olden days of the 1990s when I was actually ahead of the game. Now there are second-graders that are more tech savvy than me. I just decided to stop my forward technological progression a few years back.
June 7, 2013
College graduates facing a crushing debt – some more than $100,000 – is a very big and a very real problem.
But U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent proposal to deal with it won’t solve the problem. It is a cheap ploy to divert attention from the real problem.
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
General Keith Alexander says two recently disclosed surveillance programs on international communications are critical in the terrorism fight.
June 18, 2013
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