If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
By February, our family is looking for some excuse to have a party – even just a family one. Groundhog Day is the perfect excuse. One of our favourite traditions is to make these groundhog treats. Each kid makes their own and we put them on our favourite chocolate cake recipe. They aren’t always picture perfect, but really, the whole exercise is an opportunity to indulge in a little cake and a lot of fun. If you are looking to celebrate here are a few ideas:
The Toymaker has a beautiful groundhog paper doll and pop-up wheel.
Printables including puzzles, games and colouring pages.
I love this idea from the book Joy of Family Traditions by Jennifer Trainer Thompson. Have a family hibernation day. On Groundhog Day, or on a weekend close to it, spend your day in jammies, watch movies or play board games, make groundhog pancakes and other treats.
Make a shadow puppet theatre and put on a play with shadow puppets. And head outside and measure your own shadows.
Make your own weather predictions and post them on your fridge or write them on your calendar and see if you were more accurate in your predictions than the Groundhog.
Groundhog Day emerged from the celebration of Candlemas. And so why not eat dinner by candlelight to celebrate. This year I am hoping to dip beeswax candles with the kids, or make some poured candles in jars. These might be fun as well. I also love the Waldorf tradition of adding a tiny bit of spring to a nature table. Some root children or maybe a snowdrop or two might be just be in the making for ours.
And if you are looking for some good reads the Guelph Public Library has a number of great books about Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons.
Introduces the history of Groundhog Day, presents facts about groundhogs, and discusses the ways people celebrate this holiday.
The Groundhog Day book of facts and fun by Wendie Old and illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye.
Describes the tradition that Punxsutawney Phil, a Pennsylvania groundhog, can predict the end of the winter, and discusses changing seasons, groundhogs–also known as woodchucks–hibernation, the origins of the custom, and related topics.
Mr. Groundhog wants the day off written by Pat Stemper Vojta and illustrated by Olga Levitskiy.
Mr. Groundhog tries to give his Groundhog Day duties away. He does not want to be blamed for six more weeks of winter anymore. He asks his friends to take on the responsibilities, but they are not interested. Instead, one by one his friends show him how he is perfectly suited to the role.
The secret of the first one up by Iris Hiskey Arno and illustrated by Renee Graef.
After a long winter’s sleep, a young groundhog named Lila wakes up before anyone else in her family, goes outside, and learns about her important role in predicting the arrival of spring. Includes information on the American tradition of celebrating Groundhog Day.
However you choose to celebrate – Happy Candlemas! Happy Groundhog Day