What Does Groundhog Day Mean?

What is Groundhog Day?


Every year when February 2 comes around, we look to a specific furry animal to determine if we will be graced with spring or left with six more weeks of winter. But what’s the reasoning behind this celebration, and where did it originate?

Groundhog Day is not a public holiday, but rather is an observance in the United States that originally started in the 1800s in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The idea comes from the legend of Candlemas that states, “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."

The official groundhog Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Philip. According to the myth, if Phil sees his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter and he will return to the ground; however, if he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring and he will stay above ground.


Punxsutawney holds several events from January 27 to February 4. Events such as Little Mr. and Miss Groundhog, Breakfast with Phil, and more all lead up to the big forecast reveal. They close out the celebration with events such as the Groundhog Day Ball and a Groundhog Day Art Show.

In 2017, Phil saw his shadow and thus we endured six more weeks of winter. Hopefully this year a cloudy day will make his shadow go away and bring spring our way.

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