Other Groundhog Day


Groundhog Day

About Groundhog Day

When is Groundhog Day? This holiday is always observed on February 2

Groundhog Day, a February 2 holiday, is celebrated in the U.S. each year on February 2. On this day in mid-winter, the groundhog awakens from a long winter’s nap and goes outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. This tradition is big, on an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter’s day.

According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow (a sunny morning), there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow (cloudy days), he plays around outside of his hole for a while. If he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner.

The Groundhog’s Day tradition travelled a long way. It comes from German roots.  In the early 1800s, German immigrants to America brought the tradition of predicting winter weather on February 2. In their native Germany, they used Hedgehogs to predict the weather. As they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, they began the tradition, of using the Groundhog to predict the arrival of Spring. The tradition is based upon Candlemas, the day that is the midpoint between Winter and Spring.

A famous Candlemas poem goes:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the site of the annual Groundhog event. Our little rodent friend (yes, Groundhogs are classified as rodents) is called Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making this annual winter prediction since 1887. There are a few other “predictors” around the country, but they all pale in comparison to Phil’s ability to predict the remainder of winter.

For the Record Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times, 

Groundhog Day

Other Prognosticators

Punxsutawney Phil is not the only one to come out on February 2 to predict when winter will be over. He is by far the best known. Others include:

  • Buffalo Bert in Buffalo, NY
  • Staten Island Chuck in New York City
  • Buckeye Chuck in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Woody the Woodchuck in Detroit, Michigan
  • General Beauregard Lee in Georgia
  • Jimmy in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin 
  • Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • French Creek Freddie in Charleston, West Virginia
  • Dundas Donna in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Wiarton Willie, in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada
  • Shubenacadie Sam in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Finally, there is Punsan Daltong, in Punsan, South Korea!

Important Note: Not all events are on February 2.

Did You Know? The town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania holds a Ground Hog Festival every year. But, it isn’t on Ground Hog’s Day on February 2. This week-long festival is held at the end of June when the weather is much more pleasant to enjoy an outdoor event.

Ground Hog Day Trivia

Become the subject matter expert. Here are some interesting factoids about groundhogs and Groundhog Day.

  • Groundhogs are herbivores.
  • They are also called Woodchucks.
  • They live 6 to 8 years.
  • They weigh on average 12 to 16 pounds. But, the heaviest ever recorded was 22 pounds.
  • They dig tunnels as long as 700 feet.
  • Their furrow, or home, is called a “den”. 
  • They are shy creatures. They defend themselves by running away.
  • Gardeners hate them. A fence does not stop them. They just fig under it.
  • Bill Murray played the lead role in the movie “Groundhog Day”.

How to Participate in Ground Hog Day

  • Go to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to witness the event in person.
  • Stay tuned to the news media to find out if the groundhog saw his shadow.
  • Watch the movie Groundhog.

Today's Quote

“The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he is a baby.” – – Natalie Wood

More on Groundhog's Day

Groundhog Day Trivia – fun, facts, and trivia

More about Groundhogs

History and Origin of Groundhog Day

The first official Groundhog Day celebration took place on February 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This annual tradition wad brought to the U.S. by German immigrants.

More February 2 Holidays

Here is another February 2 holiday for you to celebrate and enjoy:


National Tater Tot Day

More About Today

This Day in History

Famous Birthdays

Recipe of the Day:  Braised Chicken with Vegetables

Plant of  the Day:  Avocado

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