Friday, January 15, 2016

Spring is Coming: On Tu B'Shevat and Groundhog's Day!

Winter is just getting started around these parts (literally, it was just in the 60's a few weeks ago, and the weather is just now getting cold). Because of this, I am sure the Midwest will be a frozen tundra in June. Nonetheless, two of my favorite precursors to Spring are just around the bend. It's almost Tu B'Shevat and Groundhog's Day. Now you may wonder what Tu B'Shevat is and, even if you know,you still may wonder why I am mentioning it with Ground Hog's day. Elementary, my dears!

Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar, marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. Tu B'Shevat has become a celebration of ecology and the environment; think of it as a Jewish Arbor-Earth Day. The themes center around Spring awakening and renewal. Awaking from a different kind of slumber is our friend Punxsutawney Phil. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks. See same-same? Well, sort of!

At 31-derful we like to celebrate both holidays as you can see here for Tu B'Shevat and here for Groundhog's Day! Its hard to believe how much our mason jar terrariums have grown since last Tu B'Shevat:

Here is a look back at our Groundhog Day's festivities:
We munched on Groundhog Pancakes, Groundhogs (peanuts) in their hole (Pinwheel cookies), Ground Hog Sandwiches (cream cheese on whole wheat), "Groundhog food" (veggies), Groundhog Cookies--crafted from fudge covered oreos, and finished the day with a healthy meal of SPRING salad and WINTER squash soup.

And at last year's Tu B'Shevat:

You can grab a free printable of the seder/placemat here. I printed it on large paper so that our plates fit over the tree graphic! Hope these inspire you to have some "Spring in Your Step" this January and February!

1 comment:

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

You guys really do it up for Groundhog day! The extent of my celebration is to say "yay" if Phil doesn't see his shadow! I've never been to a Tu B'Shevat seder. I need to see if my synagogue has one.