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Groundhog Day Facts

The Groundhog Day celebration takes place all across the Pennsylvania on February the 2nd. On this day, the groundhog should make a weather forecast for the following six weeks. According to the folklore, if the groundhog sees his own shadow and flees back to his burrow, it means that the windy, cloudy, and snowy weather will continue for the next six weeks. On the contrary, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and doesn’t see his shadow, it means that the last winter month will be mild.

Groundhog Day derives from an old German tradition and the celebration of Candlemas. In turn, Candlemas was preceded by the ancient pagan festival Imbolc, which celebrated the beginning of Spring. According to the German tradition, people were observing the behavior of badger in the same manner as people are observing the behavior of the groundhog now. This tradition was brought to the USA by the German immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries. Badger was replaced with the groundhog because groundhog was native to Pennsylvania. Below are nine facts about Groundhog Day and its symbol Punxsutawney Phil that you will definitely find interesting.

  1. Groundhog Day was firstly celebrated officially in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February the 2nd in 1886. Mr. Freas, the editor of the local newspaper called The Punxsutawney Spirit, was the author of the idea of celebration.
  2. In 1887, Mr. Freas together with other folks from the Punxsutawney created the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
  3. Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has selected one groundhog which was supposed to make the weather forecasts and named him Phil. Phil became the official weather forecasting groundhog. He lived on a site that was called the Gobbler’s Knob.
  4. Thanks to the effort of Mr. Freas, many newspapers from all around the world started to report that the groundhog Phil, which soon became famous as the Punxsutawney Phil, annually predicts weather on February the 2nd.
  5. Following the popularization of the Groundhogs Day, many fans have started to visit Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania annually to witness the weather prediction with their own eyes.
  6. According to Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, the full name of the famous groundhog is a very long one and consists of four titles. The club gave that peculiar name to the groundhog in 1887, along with naming the Punxsutawney the weather capital of the world.
  7. During the year, Phil lives in a “climate-controlled burrow” at the Punxsutawney Library. He only appears at the Gobbler’s Knob on February 2nd at 7:25 to make the forecast.
  8. Though the normal lifespan of the groundhog is 10 years, Phil is said to have lived over 120 years. According to the legend, his longevity was achieved with the help of the magic potion that he drinks every summer.
  9. The Groundhogs Day was made famous because of the “Groundhogs Day” movie which hit the screens in 1993. Although it’s about the town of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania, it was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.
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