Groundhog Day Facts

Groundhog Day Facts
Groundhog Day began as a Pennsylvanian German celebration in the1800s in Pennsylvania. Its origins date back to ancient European weather lore, when a sacred bear or badger was the weather predictor instead of the groundhog. Groundhog Day falls on February 2nd each year. Today, Groundhog Day is celebrated with a groundhog prediction, festivities, food and speeches. According to Groundhog Day folklore, if the groundhog emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow (sunny morning), winter will last another six weeks. If the groundhog does not see his shadow (cloudy morning), then spring will arrive early.
Interesting Groundhog Day Facts:
Groundhog Day is February 2nd each year.
The largest and most famous celebration for Groundhog Day in the United States is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and the groundhog's name is Punxsutawney Phil.
The largest and most famous celebration for Groundhog Day in Canada is held in Wiarton, Ontario and the groundhog's name is Wiarton Willie.
The groundhog is also known as a woodchuck.
Groundhogs eat a lot of food all summer and become very fat and then sleep all winter. This is called hibernation.
When groundhogs have babies they have about six at a time and the babies live with their mothers for several months.
Groundhogs are members of the squirrel family and are the largest of all marmots.
Groundhogs can climb trees and can swim very well.
Groundhogs eat plants and grass and are herbivores.
The first documented reference to the celebration dates to the 1800s.
In 1841 a store keeper in Morgantown, Pennsylvania James Morris wrote about February 2nd and referred to it as Candlemas Day.
Approximately 40,000 people attend the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania each February 2nd.
The first Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney was held in 1886 and has been held each year since then.
The University of Dallas in Irving, Texas holds a Groundhog Day celebration each year which is believed to be the second largest celebration in the world after Punxsutawney.
There are other Groundhog Day celebrations held in Pennsylvania including those in Quarryville, Schuylkill County, Sinnamahoning County and Bucks County.
There is a Groundhog Day celebration held at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia, Canada each year.
New York City has a groundhog named ‘Pothole Pete'.
Punxsutawney Phil's weather predictions have been accurate approximately 39% of the time since 1887. He sees his shadow about 85% of the time.
Groundhog Day celebration organizers claim that predictions are accurate about 75% to 90% of the time.
Other countries have similar spring forecast customs including Serbia (Sretenje), Germany (Siebenschlafertag), United Kingdom (St. Swithun's Day) and Alaska (Marmot Day).
Punxsutawney Phil lives in a climate-controlled habitat that is attached to the Punxsutawney Library. Wiarton Willie lives in a similar habitat in Wiarton.
Wiarton Willie is an albino (white) groundhog.
A movie was made in 1993 called ‘Groundhog Day'. It was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois but was portrayed as Punxsutawney. It was a comedy about a man reliving the same day over and over again until he became a better person.

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