Origins of Groundhog Day

Origins of Groundhog Day

Groundhog day will be celebrated on February 2nd all across North America. This will be the 136th year that Winter and Spring enthusiasts find out whether there are six more weeks of the frigid Winter, or the birds come out and Spring starts early. The famous story of a Groundhog predicting the conclusion of Winter by whether it sees its shadow or not is the basis of this national holiday.

If the groundhog sees his shadow: Six more weeks of Winter

No shadow: Early Spring 

Did you know that as of 2021 the groundhog had only predicted the correct weather 39% of the time? This makes it seem crazy that we would actually trust the groundhog to predict the rest of our winter season. 

Groundhog day was first celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania in 1887. It started with the Christian tradition called Candlemas, by distributing candles that show how long and how cold winter will be. Germans added that a hedgehog predicted the weather instead of the candles. Once the Germans came to Pennsylvania they continued the celebration but used a groundhog instead of a hedgehog. In 1887, a newspaper publisher said that Phil the Punxsutawney groundhog is a better weather forecaster than any human. “Now, there is a belief that the Groundhog has a special connection to the second day of February.”

What do you think will happen? Will the groundhog see its shadow or not? We will find out on Thursday, February Second!