Groundhog Day


Besides the 1993 iconic movie, Groundhog Day is a traditional holiday in the United States. Every year on February 2nd, a groundhog comes out of its burrow to reveal if winter will persist or not. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then the spring season will arrive early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will see its shadow and go back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The groundhog’s name is Punxsutawney Phil.

Although Phil is the most famous hog, other furry forecasters include West Virginia’s French Creek Freddie, Georgia’s Gen. Beauregard Lee, Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck, North Carolina’s Sir Wally, Louisiana’s Cajun Groundhog, Alabama’s Smith Lake Jake and New York’s Staten Island Chuck.

Maddy Shelor (’18) says “I watch the groundhogs day celebration. My love for groundhogs is eternal, they are very beautiful creatures.” Shelor also added a little fact about the rodents; “The Punxsutawney groundhog club claims that a ‘magical punch’ extends Phil’s life, but wild ground hogs only live six to eight years maximum.”

According to, in southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges celebrate the holiday with social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and plays or skits are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.

Alicia Taylor (’18) states “I think that Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow and spring will arrive early.” The weather has been strange lately and I think it will start getting warmer.

According to, since 1988 the groundhog was “right” 13 times and “wrong” 15 times. In other words, only 13 times did the national average temperature for the remainder of February match what would be expected based on what the groundhog predicted. Last year, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. This year Phil did see his shadow.

Groundhog Day was February 2nd, was your prediction correct?

Categories: Global News, NEWS

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