Groundhog Day Fun Facts

Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day! Time to find out if spring is coming early this year... or if there are six more weeks of winter. Like every year, millions gather to find out the weather prediction from Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil. Here are some fun facts about this national holiday:

  1. Groundhog Day started with the German settlers of Pennsylvania who brought with them the tradition of Candlemas Day. This is a Christian holiday in which all the candles in a church were brought in and blessed. Traditionally, if it was sunny on that day, that predicted an early spring. If the weather was cloudy on that day, that predicted a bad winter ahead.
  2. The first Groundhog Day took place on February 2nd, 1887.
  3. In the very early celebrations of Groundhog Day, it was a tradition to eat the groundhog afterward. Those who have tasted groundhog have said they taste much like chicken.
  4. There is a legend that the famous Punxsutawney Phil drinks an “elixir of life” that has kept him alive for over a century.
  5. In 1993, Columbia Pictures released a movie centered on Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. This movie launched the popularity of Pennsylvania’s groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil.
  6. While Phil is the most famous groundhog, he is not the most accurate. While Phil has only gotten his predictions correct 39% of the time, a groundhog in New York named Staten Island Chuck has been correct 82% of the time.
  7. Canada has their own Groundhog named Wiarton Willie, who is albino.
  8. February 2nd is midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
  9. While this holiday is about groundhogs predicting the weather, groundhogs are actually already known to come out during this time of the year to find a mate.
  10. Groundhogs are members of the squirrel family.

Check out these fun and frugal activities to help you celebrate:

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