How Much Mud Must a Marmot Muck if a Marmot Must Muck Mud?!
As my neighbours overseas all know, it's Groundhog Day (Candlemas for those European types) and it appears that both Wiarton Willie & Punxsutawney Phil in the USA both saw their respective shadows and thus we're stuck with 6 more weeks of winter. (BTW: My loyal Japanese readership can check out グラウンドホッグ・デー for information on this holiday.)
According to the ancient Japanese calendar tomorrow (Setsubun) is the day before 立春（Risshun = New Year's） and thus the halfway point between the modern day First days of Winter and Spring.
But on March 6th, 啓蟄 (keichitsu) is the Japanese equivalent of Groundhog Day for that is the day that the bugs crawl up from the depths of the Earth to determine whether Spring is on its way or not. I don't know if they're too hung up on witnessing their shadow nor is there a great ceremony involved but it is the closest approximation to our sizeable squirrel seers.
For those of you want to learn more about our Wood-chucking friend, you can click on Hinterland Who's Who or watch this:
I'd be remiss if I didn't post a YouTube of Groundhog Day which is known as 恋はデジャ・ブ or koi wa deja bu = Love is Deja Vu!