Groundhog Day is a popular tradition celebrated on Feb. 2 in the US and Canada every year. The tradition is rooted in Pennsylvania Dutch folklore and superstition. If the groundhog sees his shadow, he will retreat to his den and winter will persist for six more weeks. If not, then spring will arrive early.
The legend of Groundhog Day
The earliest mention of Groundhog Day is a diary entry made by James L. Morris of Morgantown, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 2, 1840. The first reported news of a Groundhog Day observance didn’t come until years and appeared in the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1886.
How accurate is Groundhog Day?
While the tradition remains very popular, studies have found no conclusive evidence or a consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow — or not — and the weather.
What time does groundhog Punxsutawney Phil come out on Groundhog Day?
The most famous groundhog prognosticator is set to come out at 7:25 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. This will mark Punxsutawney Phil’s 133rd time emerging from his burrow.
What is the main purpose of celebrating Groundhog Day?
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000 gather each year. The tradition of watching a groundhog emerge from his burrow began as a custom among the German “Dutch” community in Pennsylvania in the 1880s. The 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, also helped boost recognition of the holiday.
Punxsutawney Phil’s ‘inner circle’
1. Punxsutawney Phil has an “inner circle,” a club that is responsible for planning events around Groundhog Day.
2. The club fuels the legend that he is immortal — and that it’s been the same Punxsutawney Phil for all 132 years of the tradition. They claim he drinks elixir, which increases his lifespan and helps him to focus and stay strong.
3. The club also claims Phil can communicate using “Groundhogese” and say Phil communicates his predictions to the current president of the inner circle.