Rachel Hintz
February 02, 2014 1:00 pm

February 2nd is Groundhog Day!

Why Celebrate?

This is one of my favorite holidays. I’ve loved this holiday since I can remember. Will the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, see his shadow? Or won’t he? That’s the big question of the day. If he does see his shadow, it means winter for six more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring will come early this year. “But who is Punxsutawney Phil?” you might ask. Well, most of us know the little guy from the amazing 1993 movie starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Just as in the movie, a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil has been responsible for predicting the end of winter for 128 years!

But there is even more history to Phil’s prediction at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This celebration began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries! Its origins go back to ancient European weather lore, only then they used a sacred bear or badger to make the weather prediction. The very first documented reference to Groundhog Day in America was found in a diary entry dated February of 1841!

Much like in the movie, a large crowd gathers yearly at Gobbler’s Knob to see Phil work his magic. Crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered to be a part of the festivities in Punxsutawney. I’m not gonna lie, going there for Groundhog Day one year is definitely on my bucket list.

How to Celebrate

Watch Groundhog Day. You won’t be sorry. It is literally one of my favorite movies of all time. I’d tell you more about it, but I’m not one for giving spoilers. Also, today, keep an eye out for news updates on whether or not Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not. The fate of the weather for the next six weeks is in his adorable little paws.

Video of the Day

Featured image via ShutterStock

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