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Sun, Feb 3rd - 6:15PM

February 3rd 2008 - The Sunday Edition

Letter from the Editor

Of all the silly things people in North America do, I think Groundhog Day (which was yesterday, February 2nd) is one of the silliest. It apparently dates back to German Mennonites living in Pennsylvania and a folklore tradition that if the groundhog pops out of its hole in the ground on February 2nd and sees its shadow it means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. And if not, its a month and a half... What is the difference?

By the time March 21st (the Spring Equinox) rolls around does it really make a difference? By that time we're all sick of winter anyway. Plus there's the whole March "In like a lamb, out like a lion" superstition. More nonsense to get people excited about Spring.

Here's another one from Germany: Spring Fasching (it means festival). You dress up like monsters, run around the neighborhood and make tonnes of noise all in order to scare away the evil spirits of winter (and get candy from your grandparents). It is a lot like Halloween in many ways. It is also an excuse for teens and adults to get rip-roaringly drunk.

I guess wherever you go you're going to see people having silly festivals (and getting drunk). Tis human nature to wanna have a good time!

Suzanne MacNevin

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