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In Gobbler's Knob, in the dead of winter, is an amusing event that can attract up to 40,000 spectators, and one V.I.G. (that's "very important groundhog") named Punxsutawney Phil. On this special day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in the local pubs and restaurants is a bowl on the table for those who dare speak any language other than German. You'll be fined a nickel for every word you speak that isn't German.
It pays to know and be able to speak well the German dialect on February 2nd, especially if you are at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania at the Groundhog Day celebration. Actually, it may not pay you to know the German dialect, but it will cost you to speak English. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only acceptable language spoken that day and fines for speaking English can run anywhere from a nickel to a quarter per spoken word. I have a feeling that there is some leniency granted as crowds numbering as many as 40,000 couldn’t all possibly be fluent in German. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held each year in Punxsutawney (“Punk-sit-taw-nee) with Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous winter forecaster, as the star of the show. Groundhog Day has its origins in an ancient celebration of Candlemas, a point midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of winter would be stormy and cold. If the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. In Pennsylvania, the groundhog, upon waking from mid-winter hibernation was the best candidate for the job. The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, is a member of the squirrel family and lives in the wild.
Read the complete article in the Bevil Newsletter,
which accompanies the cover when collected!
GREETINGS FROM OREGON
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE
OCTOBER 25, 2002
NEW YORK, NY 10199
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