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Some background on Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

Today is Groundhog Day? The title is deceiving and its true meaning has been lost in time. It is also known as St. Blase day in Catholic rituals but it also had an important meaning back in the middle ages for those farmers who raised animals.

Feb. 2 is the exact mid-date between the last day of Autumn and the first day of summer. Farmers needed to take inventory of their feed stock on this date and if less than half of it was left they had to begin rationing or the animals would not survive until the next available grasses, etc. With today's storage facilities and capacities such accounting is unnecessary but there will be six more weeks until the first day of Spring even if the groundhog does not see his shadow.

Denny Warta

New Ulm



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