Groundhog Day is a peasant

Groundhog Day dictionary entry
The definition of Groundhog Day from Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary

For whatever it’s worth – Happy Groundhog Day!

But in reality, this so-called holiday is a waste of ink on calendars. How much stock should one really put in the prognostication of a furry little rodent? Regardless of whether he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, no matter what, whether you live in Palm Springs, California or Fargo, North Dakota. It’ll be a different variety of winter depending on your location (for instance sunny and mild in Palm Springs and bitter cold in Fargo), but it will be winter just the same.

The movie of the same name is better than the holiday, I would argue. The 1993 Bill Murray classic will never lose its luster. How can you go wrong with a movie in which the main character electrocutes himself in a bathtub then later drives off a cliff in a truck (with the furry little rodent in the cab with him, incidentally) only to somehow reincarnate himself the next morning, waking up to the same ol’ Sunny and Cher song both times? The movie also educated Americans about the holiday. Before the movie came out, how many of you knew there was a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil who is the prognosticating rodent of record when it comes to the holiday? I know I didn’t. Additionally, how many other movies have provided Americans with new lexicon, in this case a phrase that is almost universally understood when a day one has experienced felt just the same as the previous day (and the day before it . . .). I’ve said, and thought on numerous occasions, “This day feels like Groundhog Day.” C’mon, I know many of you have felt the same, right?

Anyway, in my estimation, if I were to rank the holidays in order of importance, Groundhog Day would be at or near the bottom. It would be a peasant.

I actually did take a page out of this blog’s namesake and wrote a poem (included below) a while back ranking holidays by their commercialism and popularity. While the poem doesn’t include Groundhog Day, just imagine it before or after Columbus Day, because that’s where it should be.

And once again, Happy Groundhog Day. May you have six more weeks of the variety of winter your region is bound to experience no matter if a groundhog in Pennsylvania sees its shadow or not.

Holiday Hierarchy

By Reuben Wadsworth

If the holidays formed a monarchy

Christmas would be king

music and movies spew from it

like an effervescent spring


Its commercialism is unreal

a downright modern scourge

arriving earlier every year

in need of a massive purge


Its major theme is light

emanating from up above

A symbol of hope and faith

and unconditional love


While its sentiments are pure

as honey or morning dew

on its gilded surface

lies a facade that is untrue


Halloween would be its queen

proof that opposites attract

since darkness is its major theme

an undisputable fact


Consumers are also a force that drives

Halloween’s grandiose tale

of witches, ghosts and monsters,

undead and freakishly pale


Buying costumes and candy

to satisfy their young

who parade the streets like vultures

seeking sweet carcasses far-flung


Valentine’s Day would be the prince

and first in line for the throne

the purchase of chocolate and roses

at the heart of this day love is shown


Easter would be a princess

second in the pecking order

with consumers rabid for eggs

on a timetable that’s a little shorter


The dukes would be three days

Memorial, July 4th,  and Labor

They tend to make big bangs

the start, middle and end of a warmer phase


Merchandise for these is sparser

than the aforementioned four

instead they breed parades and barbecues

with less time spent at the store


Thanksgiving would be a step child

perhaps third in line, if that

forgotten between its neighbors

eating without worrying about the fat


New Years would be an in-law

riding the coattails of Green and Red

with its resolutions quickly broken

while vices are well fed


MLK and Presidents days would be gentlemen

days off with little at stake

restful without much tradition

like checkpoints before Spring Break


St. Patricks and April Fools, court jesters

days for our mere pleasures

wearing green and playing jokes

their merchandise, hardly treasures


Columbus Day would be a peasant

Rarely mentioned and no day off

The accomplishments of its namesake

These days can elicit a scoff


An American holiday for a man

who never touched foot on U.S. soil

whose brash and haughty actions

could easily make blood boil


Each holiday brings its joy or pain

its setbacks, memories, and dreams

whatever your king, queen, or peasant

may most of your holidays be pleasant

WRITER’S NOTE: Wadsworth Longfellow will make it a tradition to provide a special blog entry with commentary on every holiday, beginning today with Groundhog Day.

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