What is Groundhog Day?

2nd February – Groundhog Day is a traditional day celebrated in Northern America. Read on to find out more about this exciting and quirky day.

What is Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is celebrated yearly on the 2nd of February. Groundhog Day is a traditional day celebrated by the entire North American continent. Ancient folklore believes that a groundhog emerges from its burrow and depending on whether it’s sunny or cloudy, it can predict the start and end of seasons ahead.

How does the Groundhog make the prediction?

Once the groundhog steps out of the burrow, it is believed that it looks for its shadow. On a sunny day, the shadow is visible, which scares it and forces it to go back into the burrow. The belief is that the shadow is an omen that says the winter has not yet finished. If it is overcast, the groundhog will remain outside, which is believed to signal the arrival of an early spring in the year.

Is there any particular Groundhog associated with Groundhog Day?

The most well-known groundhog is from the town of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania, USA. If the common lore is to be believed, this groundhog, given the name of Phil Sowerby, is the only authentic groundhog that can predict the weather. Every year, there is a ceremony associated with the prediction that is attended by thousands of people from all over the country. This Groundhog is taken care of by a group of men who address themselves as The Inner Circle. Groundhog believers consider Phil to be the longest living groundhog, as it is given a sip of “elixir of life” every Groundhog day which makes it immortal. The men part of the Inner Circle can be identified by their glorious top hats and tuxedos.

How accurate are these predictions?

It is believed that the predictions are accurate and over the course of the last 130 years since this tradition started, more often than not, the groundhog has been correct.

How do people generally celebrate Groundhog Day?

Usually, the prediction is part of a ceremony witnessed by thousands of people on site at the Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney and many more through online streaming of the event. There is a huge picnic where the whole family comes together to enjoy the outdoors.

Most parents tell their kids about the history associated with the day while some head for the trails for an adventurous winter trek. A few families bake cookies and have a Groundhog Day party. Some choose to sit at home and watch the ceremony on TV followed by the movie, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, which is also made around the subject of Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby.

For those who celebrate Groundhog Day, tell us how you spend the day in Comments!

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