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Groundhog Day - the Traditional American Holiday Celebrated on Feb-2

By Mark Bennett Subscribe to RSS | February 2nd 2012 | Views:
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Groundhog Day, the traditional festival is celebrated all over the US and Canada on 2nd Feb. Being one of the American traditional holidays, this festival originated during the 18th and 19th century. During the Groundhog Day, people gather around to see what a groundhog does. It may sound silly, but on this day, a groundhog has the ability to predict about the season.

It is believed that during this day, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow, then you may have spring early. If it is sunny and the groundhog is able to see its shadow, then winter will continue for another six or eight weeks.

This wholesome tradition has many followers and most of the time the predictions are true. During this festival, people from all over the town come and have an enjoyable time. Events are held, where people would give speeches, discuss about the importance of this event, have competitions, traditional dance and skits or plays as entertainment.

What made this particular festival famous during the 90’s was a movie made based on this festival. The movie ‘Groundhog Day’ had eminent actors like Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell , Chris Ellot, etc in it. I watched the movie yesterday on my Xfinity TV and found it interesting. The movie tells the story of a meteorology reporter who comes to cover the story and tradition of the festival Groundhog Day in the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

The reporter Phil Connors played by Bill Murray comes with his news producer Rita played by Andie MacDowell and the cameraman to the town Punxsutawney. Being a sober and sadistic person, Phil hated the idea of coming to Punxsutawney. He never liked to interact with people and you can guess how he would have felt when he was assigned to interview the people of the town about the origin of Groundhog Day. With the lack of enthusiasm and interest in knowing more about the festival, he wraps up his story and decides to head back to his office in Pittsburgh. Unlucky for him, a blizzard shuts down the road, and he ends up in Punxsutawney for the entire day.

The next day when he wakes up, he realizes that it is still Groundhog Day and that he is still reliving the day that has passed. Initially, he gets surprised and finds out that he is the only one who knows this difference. Thinking it is a kind of curse or jinx, he starts inquiring around the town on how to break this jinx. This phenomenon continues every day and he gets frustrated with it. Since he realizes that he cannot alter the curse, he decides to take advantage of it. He starts spending the day doing reckless activities like learning the secrets of the town’s resident and blackmailing them, courting with beautiful women, drinking recklessly, stealing money, being jailed, etc. By subsequently doing this, he becomes fed up and realizes that reliving the same day again and again is making him despondent.

He starts abusing the town’s resident, gives ridiculous and offensive reports about the festival, kidnaps the mayor of the town, and tries to kill the groundhog. But seemingly the phenomenon does not stop. He tries to kill himself, but still he wakes up on the day Feb 2. It torments him so much that he literally pours his heart to Rita. She tells him that this is a chance for him to mend his way and try to be a good person. Getting people’s respect and love is the only way he could remove this curse. So he starts changing his behavior by helping the town’s people, learning piano to impress Rita, giving the proper and exclusive coverage of the Groundhog Day.

At the end, he breaks the curse and realizes the importance of being a good and kind human being. He proposes to Rita and decides to spend his entire life in Punxsutawney.

Mark Bennett - About Author:
Mark is a freelance writer and columnist. He has written many articles on topics like festivals, celebrations, society, etc. During his free time, he likes to watch movies and programs on his Xfinity TV.

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