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January 24 2011 German Culture Newsletter
Groundhog Day was based on a Christian festival, pagan celebrations and ancient European farmer’s rules, Bauernregeln, which had been formed after years of observation of wild animal behaviour, including that of hedgehogs.
The frequent experience of seeing a hedgehog crawl back into his hole for another six weeks if his appearance at the beginning of February was on a sunny day, which seemed ultimately to be followed by bad weather, was interpreted to indicate that those circumstance meant that spring was still far away.
Despite the tremendous changes that have taken place in the natural world many of the old folklore sayings which are based on nature still work today, but not many have their own party, like the Groundhog.
Germany's background to Groundhog Day is the latest German Culture article.
Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas
There are more articles covering life and living in Germany on germanculture.bellaonline.com, and the site has a German Culture community forum:
If you have any ideas for topics you would like covering, or any questions or comments, I hope to hear from you, either in the forum or in response to this email message.
Francine McKenna, German Culture Editor
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