What is Digging Day?
Digging Day is an annual day of celebration observed by gophers worldwide. The recent and very public reference to the gopher holiday was in Wilson and Ditch’s hit song, “We Love the Winter Holidays”! Now, it’s well-known that gophers are amazing diggers of holes and tunnels, so of course they would celebrate their skills. But, Digging Day is much more than that.
Where did Digging Day start?
In the tiny gopher village in Eastern European where Wilson and Ditch grew up. It’s the same village that the GoBros family has lived in for many, many, many generations. A long time. Though Wilson and Ditch have left the village to travel the world, their beloved Momma (also known as “Mommy”), many uncles and aunts, and cousins still live in there.
Things to Know About the Gophers Before You Hear the 'Digging Day' Story!
- Gophers LOVE TO DIG
- Gophers are VEGETARIANS so they only eat vegetables
- Gophers DO NOT LIKE TO BE COLD and REALLY DON’T LIKE HAVING COLD FEET
- The worst “curse” you can say (or wish on) to a gopher is: “May you have cold feet for a thousand minutes!”
- Gophers WHISTLE when they are afraid or feel they are in danger. So, many gophers are amazing whistlers! In fact, Wilson and Ditch’s village has a famous Whistling Gopher Choir. The famous expression – “Whistle like a gopher” – is rumored to have started in Wilson and Ditch’s hometown village!
The Digging Day Story
A few hundred years ago, during an unusually cold winter, the gopher population was freezing and very unhappy. Their feet were cold and their little gopher noses were frozen, so something had to be done! It was late December and the ground in the gopher villages was hard, so it was especially difficult to dig through. But, the best digger in the village at that time vowed to dig as long and hard as he could so there would be tunnels for all to crawl into and stay warm!
Who was this amazing digger? He was Wilson and Ditch’s great, great, great, great, great Grand-Gopher-Father named BRISKET.
Legend has it that the great gopher Brisket dug and dug… and dug some more for 6 days straight without sleeping! He rested just once and supposedly yelled up to other gophers – “Smells like old cloves!” – but what they heard was: “BELLS ON YOUR TOES!” So the word went out and all the gophers in the village put bells on their toes, just like they thought Brisket the digger requested!
At the same time Brisket was digging, the best digger from the village next door was doing the same thing. That digger was a girl gopher named CARROT. She was an amazing digger who wanted to save her village from the freezing cold weather. Legend has it that Carrot also dug and dug for 6 days straight without any sleep!
After 6 days, Brisket had dug thousands of tunnels deeper than any gopher had ever dug before! (Or since!) He also dug out a large space underground that was the warmest spot he found. All the village gophers finally came down the tunnels and gathered in that large space! They named it, BRISKET’S BALLROOM!! It was soooo warm and the gophers were soooo happy!
The last tunnel Brisket dug, broke through a dirt wall and CONNECTED TO a TUNNEL that Carrot was digging! The two neighboring villages were now connected by underground tunnels! All the gophers from both villages gathered in the warmth and a HUGE CELEBRATION started! There was dancing, nose-rubbing, new songs and greetings, and a few new FOOD DISHES!
Everyone hailed Brisket and Carrot as heroes! They dug through the hard ground and conquered the cold! They brought warmth and COZY FEET to all gophers!
That great day long ago in December was called Digging Day. Many traditions started that day:
- Gophers wore bells on their toes while dancing!
- Gophers rubbed noses as a Digging Day greeting!
- Gophers started saying: “We wish you cozy feet!”
- Gopher chefs from both villages made special DIGGING DAY FOOD DISHES, including CLIKSKA, CLAKSKA, and GLURKA
CLIKSKA is a delicacy consisting of many vegetables rolled into tiny balls (like meatballs), called “vege-balls.” It became traditional for gophers to roll Clikska balls into their mouth and swallow as many as they can in one bite! As one gopher rolls and eats Clikska, the others chant: “Clikska, Clikska! Eat ‘em uuuuuup!”
CLAKSKA is beet juice that is best when served really hot. Often bits of celery, onions, and parsnip were put in the Clakska! When those vegetables (and any others) are put in the drink, gophers call it, “A Clakska with everything!” Traditionally it’s good luck for you drink Clakska while standing on one foot, blinking your eyes, and pretending to “dig” in midair with one hand!
GLURKA is a carrot pudding made in honor of CARROT, the amazing digger! But there’s not only carrots in it, there’s also lettuce, tomatoes, gopher pasta, broccoli tips, and glurpa (water from the local pond)!!
A NEW SONG!! During the first Digging Day celebration, local gopher musicians started whistling a celebratory tune! Soon words were put to that tune! Now, on every Digging Day, this song is sung: “Digging Day! It’s Digging Day! Time to celebrate! Dig with your left! Dig with your right! Gophers, dig that tunnel with all your might! Carrot finished! Brisket dug hard! The tunnel is complete! Pass the Clikska, raise some clakska -- May we all have cozy feet! Digging Day!”
What Ever Happened to Brisket and Carrot?
Those two great diggers met on that first Digging Day… and fell in love! Soon afterwards, they were married and had a traditional gopher tunnel wedding! Brisket and Carrot had 613 kids. And those kids had kids, and on and on. Two of Brisket and Carrot’s great-great-great-great-great grandkids are the WORLD FAMOUS GOPHERS, WILSON and DITCH!!
And, of course, Wilson and Ditch’s favorite all-time holiday is... DIGGING DAY!!
WE WISH YOU COZY FEET!!