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Groundhog Day

What is Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is the day when people look to the groundhog to predict the weather for the next six weeks.

Folklore says that if the sun is shining when the ground hog comes out of his burrow, then the groundhog will go back into its burrow and we will have winter for six more weeks. However, if it is cloudy, then spring will come early that year.

When is Groundhog Day celebrated?

February 2nd

Who celebrates this day?

This is a tradition in the United States. It is not a federal holiday and is mostly just for fun and something that weather forecasters like to talk about for entertainment.

What do people do to celebrate?

There are a number of celebrations throughout the United States. The largest celebration takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has predicted the weather each year since 1886. Large crowds of well over 10,000 people gather here to see Phil come out of his burrow at around 7:30am.

Other celebrations take place in towns such as Lilburn, Georgia with their groundhog General Beauregard Lee; Staten Island, New York with Staten Island Chuck; and Marion, Ohio with Buckeye Chuck. There are even celebrations in Canada.

History of Groundhog Day

The origins of Groundhog Day can be traced to German settlers in Pennsylvania. These settlers celebrated February 2nd as Candlemas Day. On this day if the sun came out then there would be six more weeks of wintry weather.

At some point people began to look to the groundhog to make this prediction. The earliest reference to the groundhog is in an 1841 journal entry. In 1886 the Punxsutawney newspaper declared February 2nd as Groundhog Day and named the local groundhog as Punxsutawney Phil. Since then the day and tradition has spread throughout the United States.

Fun Facts About Groundhog Day February Holidays
Chinese New Year
National Freedom Day
Groundhog Day
Valentine's Day
President's Day
Mardi Gras
Ash Wednesday

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