Do you know the history of Groundhog Day?

Saul Bowman
February 2, 2018

February 2 marks Groundhog Day, when traditionally a Pennsylvania groundhog known as "Punxsutawney Phil" makes an appearance above ground, near the cozy tree stump he calls home.

We are in for six more weeks of winter according to Pennsylvania's most popular weather prognosticator.

An earlier arrival of spring may sound delightful, but could mean awful repercussions for agriculture.

But where and when did this peculiar custom originate?

They're responsible for planning the events around Groundhog Day (no small feat, considering this year's events span more than a week) and caring for Phil. That's in spite of forecasts that predicted a cloudy, shadow-less morning. Whereas other "famous" groundhogs, like Chuck from Staten Island, who was rumored to have tried to escape many times in the past.

Also, Phil is above average size for a groundhog. Each year, thousands of people travel to this little town to witness Punxsutawney Phil's prediction. When German emigrants moved to Pennsylvania, they swapped their hedgehog for an animal more common to that region: the groundhog.

The celebration of Groundhog Day began with the Germans, Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. Regrettably, Potomac Phil is long dead, but his taxidermied remains are still said to make predictions each year in DuPont Circle. One example of the backlash of an early spring was the year of 2012.


The world's furriest weather man will make his appearance February 2, as Punxsutawney Phil ushers in the celebration of Ground Hog Day 2018.

Many might be happy for a shorter winter, but a shorter winter means that plants bloom earlier.

Tradition holds there's only been one Punxsutawney Phil and that he'll be 132 years old on February 2.

We should know Friday as portions of the country take a few amused moments to let a groundhog predict the weather for the next several weeks.

There was a longheld tradition in England that if the weather on "Candlemas Day' was "fair and bright, ' winter weather would remain". "Because Phil's never wrong.we blame the variants on the president's interpretation of Phil's prediction".

Potomac Phil's weather predictions always coincide with that of Punxsutawney Phil, leading to accusations of collusion between the two groundhogs, something Potomac Phil's handlers have denied.

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