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Folklore, history, the story of Groundhog Day

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the story of Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day has a very long history.  The traditions associated with Groundhog Day are really quite odd but have a long and celebrated history and, interestingly this ancient day has its roots in astronomy.  So let’s put aside our social media, video games and even our Fair Go Casino online login for a few moments and learn “all there is to know” about Groundhog Day.

What and when is Groundhog Day?

February 2nd is the day when Groundhog Day is celebrated in America.   Even though this holiday is known to go back many hundreds of years, perhaps even longer, and is rooted in European traditions, the modern version of the holiday is very distinctly American in its traditions.  One of the most well-known traditions is relying on a groundhog to predict the end of the winter by seeing his own shadow.

Basically, according to folklore there are two possibilities:

The groundhog sees his shadow:  If the groundhog surfaces from his hole in the ground on a clear day and sees his shadow he will return to his home in the ground and stay there a further six weeks of winter.

The groundhog doesn’t see his shadow: If the groundhog surfaces from his home and is not able to see his shadow this is interpreted to mean that spring is imminent.

Many people are not aware of the fact that Groundhog Day has its roots in astronomy and the way in which the earth moves around the sun.   Many people say that this day in February in the Northern Hemisphere represents the midpoint between winter – December, and spring – March.

The most famous Groundhog of all – Punxsutawney Phil

The most celebrated of all groundhogs is Phil from western Pennsylvania. But there are other celebrity groundhogs, for instance the well-known one in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.   But the one in Pennsylvania is by far the most famous.  This groundhog is termed “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather-Prophet Extraordinary.” At the same time as making this pronouncement in 1887 the ‘Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’ announced that Punxsutawney was now also to be considered the weather capital of the world.

Each year, on the 2nd February those who are eager to “follow Phil” begin arriving from 6 in the morning to join the livestream presented by “Visit Pennsylvania. This has been going for a number of years which enables more people to observe the groundhog meteorologist.

It seems that Punxsutawney Phil has actually been correct 40% of the time in predicting the onset of Spring.  This is according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   Well, it seems not to be that reliable! However, it is all a bit of fun. According to those natives of Punxsutawney “it’s a day to take everything a little less seriously, and break up the winter monotony, at least for a little while.”

Groundhog Day has a long history

Groundhog Day was originally a Celtic festival.  It marked the year’s midpoint between the two seasons, winter and spring and was celebrated in February.   It was named Imbolc, an old Irish term, meaning “in the belly”.  This referred to the expected arrival of lambs with the coming of spring.  This celebration meant that the sun had reached its halfway point on its journey towards the spring equinox and a season of new birth and light was soon to arrive.

The day is also often known as St. Brigid’s Day, which is based on a combination of different Christian and pagan traditions and beliefs. The goddess Brigantia in the Celtic tradition is connected to dawn, light and spring.  These qualities are also later associated the Christian saint, Brigid of Kildare who is one of Ireland’s patron saints.

Christian festival of Candlemas

Festival of lights, Candlemas, is also celebrated on 2nd February.  It represents the candles that are lit in churches on that day celebrating Christ in Jerusalem.

“If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight; If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go Winter, and come not again.”

Groundhog Day is rich in history and founded on meaningful ideas.  It represents the victory of spring over winter, birth over death, light over darkness. Candles are light and light is associated with spirituality and the presence of a holy presence.

Why the choice of a Groundhog?

How did the Groundhog get to play the part in this ancient tradition?  In actual fact historically the people of France and England chose a bear to be the bearer of the forecast and in Germany it was the badger. But the Germans arriving in Pennsylvania in the 1800s brought with them the Candlemas legends.  There were no badgers to be found but plenty of groundhogs, so groundhogs became the subject of the folklore.

Now the folklore has developed into a fabulous winter festival, with Punxsutawney Phil presiding as well as many others in many other states.

Groundhog and the weather connection

One of the main points of the celebrations was the forecasting of an early spring or a prolonged winter. If the sun shone on Candlemas it was said to mean the return of winter.  And “When the wind is in the east on Candlemas Day, there it will stick till the 2nd of May.”

So, it was not a good sign if the day if the sun was shining as this meant that winter, snow and frost would continue for another 6 weeks until Lady Day.

Groundhog today is not quite as it was in days gone by.   Animal behavior is definitely an indication of weather forecasts and deciding when planting dates should occur.  The traditions continue but a lot of humor is part and parcel of the day.

And in a rather non-helpful (but possibly, wise) way, The Old Farmer’s Almanac says “If the groundhog sees his shadow, we’ll have six more weeks of winter; if he doesn’t, it’ll be six weeks until spring.”

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How to Choose the Best Venue for Your Wedding

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How to Choose the Best Venue for Your Wedding

Are you looking for a magical, dreamy place to get married?

There are lots of decisions to make as your wedding approaches. Among them is choosing where to have it.

It’s like a project, a quest you embark on, and you get to pick a fantastic location that represents love and romance. It’s no work at all – it’s fun, exciting, and magical, like your wedding day!

Let’s talk about some of the things to consider as you search for the best venue for your wedding reception.

Talk to a Planner First

Experienced wedding planners know how to find the best venue for your special day. They can assess your budget and needs and recommend venues that meet both.

By talking to a planner, you’ll understand the options provided by different locations. They can also assist with the practical details that are part of the wedding planning process.

With a planner’s guidance, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect venue for your big day. You can check these event venues for reference and have your planner check them out as well.

Remember Your Budget

Knowing how much you can afford before searching for a venue will help you create and stick to a budget. Consider all your extra costs, and inquire about hidden fees. Also, be sure to ask about discounts or package deals that can save you money.

If you have your heart set on a more extravagant venue, you can consider rental options. You can also opt to do the catering yourself.

If you have a smaller budget, check out your local community center. There are also hotels with attached ballrooms that you can consider.

Always keep your budget in mind. By doing so, you can focus on what’s most important for you when selecting the best venue.

Consider Your Guests’ Experience

Think about the location you chose. Will it be easily accessible for guests traveling from out of town? Will it be convenient for those who will be attending in the evening?

Consider whether the venue provides enough space for comfortable seating and dancing. Also, consider if it has enough space for any other entertainment you may wish to provide.

A venue that offers a unique setting will offer a special experience for your guests. Above all, ensure that a venue is a place of safety where your guests will feel comfortable and welcome.

Consider the Theme of Your Wedding

Depending on the type of celebration you wish to have, different venues may be better suited. For instance, if you want a more traditional indoor wedding, a distinguished and well-known banquet hall may be ideal.

If you prefer a unique rustic backdrop, a barn filled with antique decorations and furniture would be a great fit. It is also important to look for a location that can help bring the desired theme to life.

Finding the Best Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. With careful planning, you’ll find a venue that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime. Take the time to find the best spot.

Work with a professional to find the best options out there. Start your search today!

For more wedding tips, guides, and advice, check out the rest of our blog.

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Top 5 Most Popular Flower Scents You Should Try

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Top 5 Most Popular Flower Scents You Should Try

Smells are essential to associate with our memories — most of the time, when we smell something, we can remember the person or place that smell reminded us of. Experts even say that scented flowers can help people with Alzheimer’s recover from the disease.

Besides, the satisfaction of growing a beautiful flower and expanding your green thumb, they come with a delightfully pleasant aroma. Are you ready to learn more about popular flower scents? In this article, we’ll tell you about 5 of the best scents.

Keep reading to learn more about what to grow based on the scent you like to smell.

  1. Gardenia

Gardenia is one of the most popular flower scents you should try for your home. Its sweet and creamy smell is reminiscent of a fresh spring day.

Gardenia’s scent is calming and relaxing, making it perfect for aromatherapy. The subtle yet unmistakable flower notes of gardenia have been popular in the fragrance industry for centuries and its lingering pungent and heady aroma is loved by many.

  1. Jasmine

Jasmine has a sweet and soft aroma that is both delightful and uplifting. It is known for being an aphrodisiac, which makes it perfect for romantic occasions. It also has body-soothing effects and can help reduce stress and anxiety.

It is also known to help increase libido and sexual desire in men and women alike. This floral scent can be used in various ways, such as in candles and perfumes, or enjoyed in its purest form by placing a few sprigs in your bedroom or living space.

  1. Rose

Its sweet and intoxicating aroma tantalizes the senses with its floral bouquet reminiscent of the garden of Eden. With slight hints of musky and earthy, the gentle and comforting scent of rose offers a strong and captivating pleasure that lingers long after it has been blessed upon the skin.

This classic, timeless scent is perfect for any occasion or season. Whether you’re feeling romantic or need something to lift you, a rose is a perfect scent to wear.

  1. Peony

Peonies are thought to be symbols of love and prosperity, making their scent ideal for those special occasions like weddings and anniversaries. The amazing thing about these flowers is their fragrance can last for days after being picked.

Many people enjoy deep-rich scents from the Peony especially when it comes to relaxation, as it is known for bringing calmness and peace. The scent of a peony is like a light, delicate floral fragrance that is both calming and energizing.

  1. Lily

Lilies are one of the most popular flower scents for perfumes, home fragrances, and candles. You can buy lily scents in almost any store that sells home décor items. Most floral scents online offer a wide range of lily scents, ranging from classic and traditional to modern and daring.

Some popular lily scents include orange blossom, tuberose, and jasmine. If you are concerned about where to buy floral scents like this, you can ask for recommendations from your family and friends who have experienced purchasing it in-store or online.

Learning Much More About Flower Scents That You Must Try

Flower scents are a great way to enhance the atmosphere of any space. The mesmerizing aromas of eucalyptus, gardenia, rose, peony, and gardenia are just some of the most popular scents to try. So why not take a deep breath, inhale these floral fragrances, and let the ambiance of your home delight you?

Visit the rest of our website for more compelling stories.

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Tips for First-Time Horseback Riders

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Tips for First-Time Horseback Riders

There is a real romance and beauty to horseback riding. While you won’t become a pro the first time you get on a saddle, it won’t take long for you to master the basics. Learning to ride is also fun! You will get to spend time outdoors, bond with the horse, and experience the thrill and adventure of riding one of the most majestic creatures there is. Here are just a few tips for any first-time riders:

Wear the Right Gear

It is essential to plan your outfit before going to guarantee you’ll have a safe ride. Avoid wearing anything that is baggy, loose clothing can get caught in the saddle and disrupt the reins. Also, avoid wearing open-toed shoes. Cowboy boots are recommended as they are easier to maneuver in stirrups than sneakers are. Also, always wear a safety helmet.

Always Grip the Reins Tightly

When you’re on a horse, it can seem like the horse is doing all of the work, but that isn’t the truth. You need to guide the horse with the reins. Even if the horse you’re riding seems content following the path or horse in front of you, you should not be holding the reins when atop a horse. If you let go, the horse may get confused. Stay focused, and calm, and hold the reins tight. This will guarantee a smooth and safe ride for both you and the horse you’re riding.

The Horseman’s Handshake

Before you get on your horse, extend your arm to let the horse know that you are friendly. If the horse responds by sniffing your hand, you then have the green light to mount it (as long as your trainer also gives you the go-ahead. This action is known as the “horseman’s handshake”.

Trust the Instructor

Always follow the instructor/trainer’s judgment and words. If the instructor says to straighten your posture or to hold something in a certain way, listen and take note. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Choose the Right Location

While you can go horseback riding almost anywhere, there are certain destinations that are better for new riders than others. Some of the best places include Gardiner (MT), Biltmore Estate in Asheville (NC), Wampee Stables in Myrtle Beach (SC), Gila National Forest (NM).

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