The Groundhog Day is the traditional holiday in the US and Canada that is annually celebrated on February 2 and was successfully adopted in Ukraine. It is considered that this day people observe the groundhog coming out of its burrow. According to the behavior of an animal, it is possible to predict when the spring will come.
The prediction of Kharkiv groundhog Timka is already known. The groundhog predicted warm and early spring as Slava Mavrychev, the journalist of UA: The First reported on Facebook.
According to Depo: Kharkiv, the ceremony of the waking up of Timka the Third took place at the biological center of Kharkiv National University named after Karazin. The groundhog did not see his shadow as the weather was cloudy.
Viktor Tokarsky, the professor of the biological department of Karazin University translated the prediction of Timka and said that the warm spring will come in six weeks.
Also, Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in the world made his prediction. Phil saw his shadow and it means that the US citizens will have another six weeks of the winter.
History of Holiday
The Groundhog Day originates from ancient Celtic Imbolc holiday that was celebrated on February 1 on the halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Very often, people used the primitive meteorology to predict the coming of spring.
Later this holiday was switched by Presentation of Jesus at the Temple that symbolizes that spring replaced winter after the spread of the Christianity.
The hedgehog was a weather forecaster for the ancient Teutons. The early settlers of Pennsylvania were the Germans and they replaced the hedgehog with groundhog as a lot of these animals dwelled in the country. The first officially recorded Groundhog Day took place in Punxsutawney City, Pennsylvania on February 2, 1887.
At the moment there are a few groundhogs-forecasters in the US and Canada but the most famous is Big Phil from Punxsutawney. A lot of tourists come to the city to see live prediction of the groundhog.
According to the belief, if the day is cloudy, the groundhog does not see its shadow and calmly come out of the burrow and it means that the winter will end soon and the early spring is coming. If the day is sunny the groundhog sees its shadow and hides back to the burrow that means that there will another six weeks of the winter.
The Groundhog Day became famous in the post-Soviet countries after the release of the well-known movie ' Groundhog Day' with Bill Murray in 1993.
According to the organizers of the holiday, the predictions of the groundhog are precise in 75-90% cases. However, the Canadian research showed that only 37% of the predictions are precise.
Groundhogs in Ukraine
According to the Ukrainian traditions, the groundhog awoke from the hibernation on March 14. He came out from the burrow and whistled three times and then returned to sleep until Annunciation.
At the moment, there are two groundhogs in Ukraine: Timka that lives at the biological center of Kharkiv National University and Mishka from Lviv children's ecology and naturalist center.