Groundhog Day

What is the history of Groundhog Day? Does Punxsutawney Phil (or his various other animal friends) really predict the weather? Let’s find out…

The history of Groundhog Day goes back well over 100 years. Similar to the Groundhog Day we are familiar with, a sunny Candlemas meant more days of winter. With the groundhog, a sunny day causes him to “see his shadow” thus predicting six more weeks of winter.

The first time Groundhog Day was in the newspaper was in 1886 in Punxsutawney. In 1887, they started going to Gobbler’s Knob where the groundhog makes the prediction.

As I’m sure you can imagine, the groundhog doesn’t actually make a prediction that is always accurate. Or really make a prediction at all. The “Inner Circle” who are a part of the group that takes care of the groundhog and the ceremony of Groundhog Day, seem to basically pick one of two pieces of paper. One says that Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow and the other doesn’t. So basically one is predicting more winter weather and the other an early spring. But it’s all in good fun. Since they technically should be hibernating, my best guess is if the groundhog hasn’t got up from their winter sleep yet, winter isn’t over.

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