Groundhog Day is observed on February 2 of every year in the United States of America and Canada. It is a popular observance among many Americans and it focuses on the tradition of the groundhog coming out of its den to forecast the weather. It is believed by many Americans that if it is sunny when the groundhog comes out of its home and sees his shadow, it means the winter will continue for 6 more weeks. In that case, the groundhog will go back into his home and will sleep again. But suppose if it is cloudy while the groundhog comes out and not able to see his own shadow then the groundhog stays outside to play, then people will start celebrating by believing that spring is about to come.
“The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears.” – Bill Vaughn.
History of Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day was first celebrated in the United States in the year 1887. Clymer H. Freas, editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit started encouraging the groundhogs as the official Groundhog Day meteorologist. Even though some places have in some cases started celebrating their own groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil, the official groundhog lives near Punxsutawney at Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania. Every year thousands of visitors come to Punxsutawney on 2nd February to participate in this celebration. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club plays a vital role in arranging Groundhog Day in the town. Also, many Club members, visitors, locals, and reporters gather at Gobbler’s Knob on 2nd February of every year to see the appearance of Phil’s and his weather prediction. Pennsylvania’s governor attends ceremonies of Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney observed its 1st Groundhog Day in the 1800s in the United States. This day also gained popularity with the release of the film Groundhog Day in the year 1993. All these started so many decades before when nature and animal worship was popular, people of Europe believed that the badger had the ability to estimate the coming of spring. They will plant their crops after the badger predicts the weather. But later sadly in Pennsylvania, there were not many badgers so the badger was substituted by the groundhog.
Other Celebrations on February 2
February 2 is also celebrated as
- National Hedgehog Day
- Marmot Day
- National Crepe Day
- World Wetlands Day
- National Tater Tot Day
- World Play Your Ukulele Day
- Lung Leavin Day
- Candlemas Day
- National Sled Dog Day
How to Celebrate the Day
If you want to participate in the annual Groundhog Day celebration then go to Pennsylvania, if you can’t make it to Pennsylvania then try participating in the events organized on the day in other places. If you are not able to participate in the event then take some time to look at the celebration of the day online and check if the groundhog has seen its shadow. Then post pictures and share your thoughts about the day with others on social media by using the hashtag #GroundhogDay.
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