Groundhog Day Preview: Will Yahdee See His Shadow?
Forget Punxsutawney Phil. On Saturday, Feb. 2, Lehigh Valley 'groundhogs' Yahdee and Lee will appear in South Whitehall again to make a prognostication.
Will Yahdee the groundhog see his shadow this year?
Punxsutawney has its Phil, but in the Lehigh Valley, Groundhog Day belongs to Yahdee (who has seen a taxidermist) and his grandson Lee (a puppet.)
For the sixth time in seven years, Grundsau Lodge No. 16, formed to preserve the language and traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch, will host a Groundhog Day event near Wehr's Dam in South Whitehall.
Festivities will get under way at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, with men in top hats, the "groundhogs," and songs sung in Pennsylvania Dutch.
Yahdee and Lee will float on a raft (or sled if the creek freezes) 150 feet down Jordan Creek toward Wehr's Dam, then Lee will be brought on land and whisper a prediction to the lodge's president.
If the groundhogs see their shadow this year, they will be frightened and want to run back into their burrow, and six more weeks of winter will follow, according to traditions brought to America by German (Pennsylvania Dutch) immigrants. If they don't, spring is around the corner.
Last year, while Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, they called for an early spring. (It was.)
At the event, all songs, the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer will be done in Pennsylvania Dutch, lending to the event's authenticity, said David Adam, Haaptmann (president) of Grundsau Lodge No. 16 in Germansville.
Some 125 people are expected, since the event this year falls on a Saturday.
Grundsau Lodge No. 16, which was established 42 years ago, has about 180 members.