Groundhog Day: 5 freakish things you don't know about this quirky tradition

Feb 02, 2018, 21:11
Groundhog Day: 5 freakish things you don't know about this quirky tradition

Before Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell even existed, Groundhog Day was a popular tradition celebrated in the USA and Canada on 2 February every year.

People have gone on to celebrate Groundhog Day in Pennsylvannia ever since, where crowds as large as 40,000 have been known to gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to consult the animal, who is of course known as Punxsutawney Phil.

If the groundhog comes out and the day is cloudy and he can not see his shadow, he will take this as a sign of spring and stay above the ground. The "beast" was soon given the more friendly moniker of Punxsutawney Phil, "Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary".

Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck aren't the only marmot weather forecasters in North America.

Friday's prediction was the 132nd from Phil, who surprisingly doesn't look a day over five.

February 2nd signifies Groundhog Day in the United States. No cable provider is necessary, but the Groundhog Day website recommends a strong internet connection.

Apparently, in Germany, people watched for a badger to see if it cast a shadow on Candlemas Day.

While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most notable groundhog, he's not the only one, as other municipalities have adopted their own version of the prognosticating rodent.

Shivering in the cold, Punsxutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter are ahead.

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.

John Griffiths has been a member of Phil's Inner Circle for 20 years. One example of the backlash of an early spring was the year of 2012. If the sun was bright on this day, the clergyman would hand out more candles, as they thought the winter would be longer. He has yet to predict an end to the gridlock, and has so far never been proven wrong.

Though the average lifespan of a groundhog is around six years, legend has it that Phil is the only furry rodent to have the ability to predict winter's length.

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