For the longest time on February 2nd I can remember being pulled from bed to watch the morning news - a tradition the furry fellow I peered at seemed to understand too well. On this day, a strange tradition occurred. Some men in tall black top hats and bowties would pull a quite sleepy groundhog from its burrow. As the legend goes, if it was sunny outside and the groundhog saw his shadow, there would be six more weeks of winter. Yet, if it was dark and cloudy outside and the groundhog did not see his shadow, there would be an early spring. Because of this odd tradition, we officially call February 2nd Groundhog Day.
Apart from the name of this holiday, there was one other major difference between Candlemas Day and Groundhog Day. In the English holiday they did not use a groundhog; instead, they used a hedgehog. Today our groundhog is formally known as Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where the tradition occurs. Since 1886, a group known as The Groundhog’s Inner Circle has put on this event, which draws crowds over 18,000 people. With each new coming year, the crowds grow larger and larger to see this small animal predict the upcoming weather. While this tradition has no scientific evidence backing it up, it is still a fun-filled holiday that many people can enjoy. Will Phil be correct on predicting 6 weeks of winter or an early spring? It’s hard to say, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a wonderful February 2nd.
For more information on Groundhog Day, please check out the links below! Enjoy!
International Business, Times. "Punxsutawney Phil 2012 Prediction: The History behind Groundhog Day." International Business Times Feb. 0002: Regional Business News. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.
International Business, Times. "Punxsutawney Phil’s Hometown And Its History Of Groundhog Day Meteorology." International Business Times 01 Feb. 2013:Regional Business News. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.
Andrews, Jeanmarie. "Groundhog Day." Early American Life 32.1 (2001): 60. Corporate ResourceNet. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.
Roy, Christian. Traditional Festivals : A Multicultural Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2005. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Jan. 2015.