Raise your hand if the words Groundhog Day make you think of Bill Murray. But no one ever really talks about Groundhog Day history facts. As much as we love the 1993 flick that gives new meaning to the term deja vu, we’ve been wondering what Groundhog Day is actually about. Clearly there’s more to it than crowds or people admiring a giant furry friend who looks kind of like a rat. What is Groundhog Day? Why does it exist and why does it matter?
Let’s start with the basics: the when. Groundhog Day takes place on February 2nd every year, which, believe it or not, is right around the corner. The what: it’s a holiday celebration when a groundhog predicts whether spring will come early or if winter will persist for another 6 weeks. Yes, seriously. According to folklore (and let’s be real, this sure sounds like a whole lot of hooey), if the groundhog emerges from its hole and sees its shadow (aka, it is sunny outside) then he will retreat back into his home and we’re stuck with more chilly winter weather. If it is cloudy outside and the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow then good news! Spring is on they way. And let us all say, amen.
When it comes to Groundhog Day information, the who (and the where): Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Legend has it that there has only ever been on true “Phil,” but since Groundhog Day has been celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob (Phil’s home) since 1887, we find that hard to believe. After all, groundhogs normally only live to be about 6-8 years old. And while there is an entire team of people called the Inner Circle who are dedicated to caring for Phil in the off-season, we’re still skeptical.
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Ok, so that we have some Groundhog Day history facts covered, it’s February 2nd, what should you do? Well, you could go about your business or turn on the TV, which is guaranteed to be showing the movie “Groundhog Day” on repeat, or you could join the celebration. There will be news coverage, local festivals, or if you’re feeling adventurous you could even plan a trip to Gobbler’s Knob to witness the action in person. There is a celebration tent and festival, there’s even a Groundhog Ball if you’re feeling fancy.
So when it comes to Groundhog Day information how accurate is good ol’ Phil and what does this mean for you? His owners claim that he is right 100% of the time… after all you don’t get the nickname Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary by being wrong. But then again, he is a groundhog. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the groundhog shows “no predictive skill” based on the last few years. We’re going to go ahead and say that if our furry friend predicts an early spring, he’s right, and if he sees a prolonged winter, he’s wrong and we hate him. Call us a fair-weather fan if you must.