Groundhog Day, Canadian-Style, eh?

It all started in Pennsylvania back in the 19th or maybe even the 18th century.
In the past, the ritual, which may have its roots in the German Candlemas, has involved badgers and bears.

Today, in the US and Canada, the celebration centers on a groundhog and whether or not the skies are cloudy or clear on an early February morning.

If the groundhog sees his shadow we get six more weeks of winter. And if he doesn't, we get...let's see...six more weeks of winter.

Canada Peg, our way-up-north correspondent, files this story about Groundhog Day and how Canadians use rodents to judge the duration of winter.

(Some of you will remember Canada Peg's excellent Sarah Palin song parody, North From Alaska.)

Take it away, Peg!

Groundhog Day -- Dateline: Canada

The States has good old Punxsutawney Phil
I know there are a few others scattered about the country. Here in Canada there are also a few:

Shubenacadie Sam

Our Nova Scotia claim to fame, and of course, the best groundhog in Canada, is Shubenacadie Sam (that's shoe-been-ock-uh-dee with no accent on any syllable, to you normal folk.)

Wiarton Willy

Ontario, the California (biggest province) of Canada, has Wiarton Willy (wier-tonne). He's always wrong, but he does get the most press. (Far bigger population base. )

Balzac Billy

Balzac Billy of Alberta is the nuttiest, and not cause he's a squirrel. Nope. He is a guy in a groundhog suit. How's that for one heck of an embarrassing resume stuffer for an actor: crawl out of your hibernation hole and act like an idiot.

Good thing old Honore Balzac is long gone, or he would sue: after all, the French get really upset when made fun of in any manner, and this should qualify. I'm almost surprised some Quebecer hasn't already shot the dude.

Manitoba Merv

The cheapest celebration centers around Manitoba Merv, a lousy puppet! 'Nough said.

Of course, our favorite Groundhog Day was Bill Murray's excellent 1993 comedy