In France, February 2 is known as La Chandeleur (Candlemas) and sometimes better known as Crêpe Day. One of our saying “À la Chandeleur, l’hiver cesse ou reprend vigueur” (on candlemas, winter stops or grows stronger) is surprisingly appropriate for the U.S. version of candlemas celebration: Groundhog Day. Based off a german tradition that crossed over when German settlers came to Pennsylvania, it uses a groundhog, rather than an igel (hedgehog) to predict the weather for the rest of winter. The first official groundhog day was celebrated in Punxsutawney, PA and now every February 2nd Americans tune in to see whether Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not. Today, he did not see his shadow, meaning that we are still in for another 6 weeks of winter. Since it’s 60 degrees outside right now, I don’t mind 6 more weeks of this weather!
Not to be outdone, D.C. decided to hold its own groundhog day celebration this year. Finding a live groundhog proved a bit tricky for organizer Aaron DeNu (groundhogs hibernate in the winter apparently) so the crowd assembled in front of the Dupont Circle fountain had to settle for a taxidermied Potomac Phil, courtesy of Miss Pixies. And he also saw his shadow.