2010-02-02

Groundhog's Day.

I created a few new tongue twisters for Groundhog's Day.

In my first year of blogging, I wrote, "How much ground could a groundhog grind if a groundhog could grind ground?"

Last year was, "How Much Mud Must a Marmot Muck if a Marmot Must Muck Mud?"

These of course are addendums to the popular, "If a woodchuck could chuck all the wood he could chuck, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?" or "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

Last night I thought of, "How many meerkats can a mere cat mate if a mere cat could mate meerkats?" Then this morning I composed, "How many capes could a capybara bear, if a capybara could bear capes?"

Recently I borrowed some info about our favourite phony holiday, グラウンドホッグ・デー. I have scammed most of the writing from Wiki (English & Japanese) or from the Wiarton Willie home page. I'm using it as a lesson for my students this week. Enjoy!

Groundhog Day is February 2nd. It is said that if the groundhog sees his shadow (it is fair and clear outside), there will be six more weeks of winter, and if he doesn't (it is dark and sombre outside), that spring will be here soon.

毎年2月2日はGroundhog Day:グラウンドホッグ・デー (聖燭節・マーモットの日)です。2月2日にグラウンドホッグが穴から出てくる際、もし自分の影を見ることができれば(=天候が晴れていれば)、まだこれから先6週間冬が続くことを意味します。そしてグラウンドホッグは再び穴に戻ります。しかし、もし外が暗く曇っていて、自分の影を見ることができなかったら、それは春がすぐそこに来ていることを意味し、グラウンドホッグは穴の外に出てくるのです!日本の立春(節分)にあたる日がこのGroundhog Dayというわけなのです!

Now, how did Wiarton, Ontario come to have such an event, a groundhog forecasting the weather? Well, the tradition dates back over 2000 years ago, to ancient Celtic tribes. The ancient Celts used animals, every February 2nd, and knowing that they were in tune with nature, to predict the weather.

(ケルト人は冬至と春分の中間日を2月2日とし、火と豊穣の女神ブリギッドの祭が 行われた この場合6週間後はだいたい春分にあたる)

Well, 54 years ago, in January of 1956, a local by the name of Mac Mackenzie was trying to stir up a little fun in Wiarton, because back then, it wasn't a very active place in wintertime. So, Mac decided to have a party. He sent out invitations to his friends, calling for a 'Groundhog Day' celebration, and set the date for February 2nd. Somehow, one of these invitations fell into the hands of a Toronto Star reporter.
This reporter travelled to Wiarton, hoping to write a story on the big festival. However, when he got here, nothing was going on; it was just Mac and a few of his friends having a drink at the local pub. The reporter told Mac that he just couldn't go back home without a story so Mac, thinking quickly, grabbed one of his friend's wife's hats (which was white and furry), dug a hole in the snow, popped the hat into the hole, and made a weather prediction. The reporter took the photo, and the next day the story ran in the Toronto Star as 'Groundhog Day'. The next year, about 50 people showed up for the festival, and the legend was born.
Nowadays, the festival attracts close to 10,000 people a year, with such activities and events as parades, dances, ice hockey tournaments, pancake breakfasts and the fabled Wiarton Willie Weather prediction.

グラウンドホッグデー(英:Groundhog Day/ Groundhog's Day)とは、アメリカ合衆国・カナダにおいて2月2日に催される、ジリスの一種グラウンドホッグを使った春の訪れを予想する天気占いの行事。アメリカ・ペンシルベニア州パンクサトーニーの祭が最も知られている。

If Candlemas be fair and bright (キャンドルマスが明るく晴れていれば)
Winter will have another flight (冬はまだしばらく続くだろう)
If Candlemas be cloud and rain (キャンドルマスが曇っていて雨ならば)
Winter will be gone and not come again (冬は去り、戻ってこないだろう)



·Groundhogs typically measure 40 - 65 centimeters long and weigh 2-4 kilograms. In areas where there is more alfalfa, they can grow much bigger.
·Groundhogs are great diggers and burrowers with powerful short limbs and sharp claws.
·Groundhogs are covered with two coats of fur; a short and longer coat to accommodate our colder climates.
·In the wild, groundhogs have a lifespan between 2-6 years. In captivity, they can far exceed this limit.
·Common predators for the groundhog are wolves, coyotes, foxes, bears, hawks, owls and dogs.
·Groundhogs like to eat wild grass, alfalfa and other vegetation, berries and agricultural crops. They will also eat bugs and insects.
Groundhogs are one of the few species that enter into true hibernation and hibernate from October to March/April (except for our Willie who wakes up for a short stint to make his prediction).

マーモット(英語:marmot、学名:Marmota)は、ネズミ目リス科マーモット属の動物の総称である。(ずんぐりした体格の大型のジリスを指すが、日本にはマーモットは生息しないため、日本人には馴染みの薄い動物群である。)

Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story by Rubin. Murray plays Phil Connors, an egocentric Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, finds himself repeating the same day over and over again. After indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts, he begins to reexamine his life and priorities.

恋はデジャ・ブ
人気気象予報士フィル・コナー(ビル・マーレイ)は田舎町であるペンシルベニア州パンクスタウニーにローカル番組のロケで来た。毎年2月2日に、ウッドチャックが自分の影を見て冬眠するかどうかを決定しその結果によって豊作を占うという聖燭節の祭、田舎行事で彼には退屈で耐えられないし、当然身も入らない。嫌々ながら一日を終え、都会への帰途、天候の急変で田舎町に泊まることになった。翌朝、彼を待っていたのは昨日と同じ2月2日だった。永遠の2月2日から脱出しようと試みるも全て失敗。また、パンクスタウニーの町を出ることもできない。さまざまな方法で自殺しても2月2日に戻ってしまう。フィルはプロデューサーのリタを口説きはじめるが、全て失敗に終わってしまう。彼は自分を磨き始め、ピアノを習い、氷細工を覚え、困っている村の人々を助けるのが習慣になっていたが…。



Check out the above Silly Symphonies short by Disney (1930) to view a cameo by our Groundhog friend (at about 5:30).

As a postscript, we have our petty PETA pals pester Punxsutawney Phil to pass his post to a poser!

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