Groundhog Day began in the 1800s in Pennsylvania as a Pennsylvanian German celebration. Its origins can be traced back to ancient European weather lore, when a sacred bear or badger predicted the weather instead of the groundhog. Every year on February 2nd, Groundhog Day is observed. Groundhog Day is now marked by a groundhog prediction, festivities, food, and speeches. If the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow (on a sunny morning), winter will last another six weeks, according to folklore. Spring will arrive early if the groundhog does not see his shadow (cloudy morning).
Every year on February 2nd, Groundhog Day is celebrated.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania hosts the largest and most famous Groundhog Day celebration in the United States, and the groundhog’s name is Punxsutawney Phil.
The largest and most famous Groundhog Day celebration in Canada takes place in Wiarton, Ontario, and the groundhog’s name is Wiarton Willie.
The groundhog is also referred to as a woodchuck.
Groundhogs eat a lot of food during the summer, becoming very fat, and then sleeping all winter. This is known as hibernation.
Groundhogs have about six babies at a time, and the babies live with their mothers for several months.
Groundhogs are the largest of all marmots and are members of the squirrel family.
Groundhogs are able to climb trees and swim very well.
Groundhogs are herbivores that eat plants and grass.
The celebration was first mentioned in writing in the 1800s.
In 1841, James Morris, a storekeeper in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, wrote about February 2nd and referred to it as Candlemas Day.
Every February 2nd, approximately 40,000 people attend the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Punxsutawney’s first Groundhog Day was in 1886, and it has been celebrated every year since.
Every year, the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas, holds a Groundhog Day celebration, which is thought to be the world’s second largest celebration after Punxsutawney.
Groundhog Day celebrations are also held in Quarryville, Schuylkill County, Sinnamahoning County, and Bucks County in Pennsylvania.
Every year, the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia, Canada, hosts a Groundhog Day celebration.
The city of New York has a groundhog named ‘Pothole Pete.’
Since 1887, Punxsutawney Phil’s weather predictions have been approximately 39% accurate. He sees his shadow about 85% of the time.
Organizers of the Groundhog Day celebration claim that predictions are accurate about 75% to 90% of the time.
Similar spring forecast customs can be found in Serbia (Sretenje), Germany (Siebenschlafertag), the United Kingdom (St. Swithun’s Day), and Alaska (Marmot Day).
Punxsutawney Phil is housed in a climate-controlled habitat adjacent to the Punxsutawney Library. Wiarton Willie lives in a similar environment.
Wiarton Willie is a groundhog that is albino (white).
In 1993, a film called ‘Groundhog Day’ was released. It was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, but it was billed as Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was a comedy about a man who relived the same day until he became a better person.