If you know anything about me, you know one of three things: I revere pie, I collect spatulas, and Groundhog Day is my favorite holiday. And not that you can be right about favorite things, but I am right about this. All other favorite holidays are wrong. Here are the reasons that this is best holiday:
- It celebrates a rodent, and not something remotely controversial like Jesus or the United States or even a civil hero. Some people hate groundhogs, but very few hate them with fervor. When asked, most people would rank their feelings about groundhogs as, “No Opinion.”
- It takes place in the beginning of February. This is the worst time of year for most people. There is little salvageable daylight, it’s brutally cold, and the Holidays with a capital H are not distracting everyone from the horrible cold and terrible darkness. February 2 is a full month after the last holiday, New Years Day, which can stretch a little bit as people have resolutions and hopes and dreams. By February 2, though, those have all worn off and everyone is miserable again. That’s exactly when we need a holiday, wouldn’t you agree?
- The greeting card moguls have not yet ruined Groundhog Day. Depending on who you are, you may feel that Bill Murray has. But we can all agree that Bill Murray isn’t as egregious as CAPITALISM.
- The whole crux of this holiday is that it’s a myth about a rodent and its shadow and how this can influence the seasons. Something that makes this even more incredible is that he’s not even right HALF OF THE TIME. He is right roughly 35 percent of the time. The ridiculousness of this should warm the hearts of even the most spoilsport among us.
- For the record, I am also a fan of all the “National Day” days, which you believe were invented by companies but were almost unilaterally not. (In fact, most of them were invented by a single woman who happens to live in Rogers Park! Here’s the Planet Money episode about it.) But Groundhog Day is the O.G. National Day. And it has made it onto the calendar. HUGE get.
Look: a holiday is what you make of it. You can wake up on Groundhog Day and thinking, “Oh, huh, Groundhog Day again. Nothing cool ever…