Today is “Groundhog’s Day.” A tradition that dates back over 200 years…
According to folklore, if the weather is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2, then spring will come early that year. If it is sunny, the groundhog will see its shadow and head back inside – and winter will continue for another six weeks.
How is Groundhog Day celebrated?
The tradition of Groundhog Day began as a custom among the German community in the US state of Pennsylvania in 1887.
At the time, a man named Clymer H. Freas was the editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit and he began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official “Groundhog Day meteorologist”. The tradition is still celebrated today and many towns start festivities before winter sunrise – so that they have time to watch a groundhog stepping out of a burrow. The largest Groundhog Day celebration is still held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania but the popular tradition has also received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film by the same name. In Punxsutawney, their now world famous groundhog Phil is the chosen groundhog representative – and always gives his annual “forecast” on the top of a tiny hill in the town called Gobbler’s Knob.