Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring on Groundhog Day
How much do you know about Groundhog Day? Did you know that the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, lives in a library? Did you know that he also has a wife named Phyllis? These are just a few of the many interesting facts and traditions surrounding Phil and Groundhog Day itself.
The first Groundhog day was Feb. 2 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and the event has definitely grown since. Every year thousands of people gather in Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney to see if Phil will see his shadow and predict six more weeks of bad weather.
There many activities for tourists and locals in Punxsutawney on and surrounding Feb. 2 but one might wonder what the famous groundhog does for the rest of the year. Throughout the year Phil’s handlers, The Inner Circle of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, care for Phil and bring him to other events including Hogtoberfest Craft Beer Festival, Gobbler’s Knob Wine Festival, Phil’s Trick or Trot 5K and Groundhog Picnic & Phil Phest. Phil is also available for appearance requests.
The Inner Circle of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club is a group of 15 people, who describe themselves on The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s website as “local dignitaries responsible for carrying on the tradition of Groundhog Day every year.” The Inner Circle’s president is said to be the only person that can talk with Phil and is the person that interprets Phil’s predictions every year. In fact, Phil’s predictions are claimed to be 100 percent accurate and if the prediction is ever inaccurate it is due to an error in the president’s translation.
Groundhog Day is an old tradition that originated from the European celebration of Candlemas. Candlemas was a Christian holiday in which people would take their candles to their church and have them blessed to bring them good fortune for the rest of the winter. This tradition developed more in Germany when it was claimed that if the hedgehog saw its shadow on Candlemas there would be 6 more weeks or bad weather. When German settlers came to the United States this tradition continued, but due to the lack of hedgehogs in the US the settlers used a groundhog instead.
To conclude, Groundhog Day is a holiday that brings people together every year to celebrate a tradition that has been a part of North American culture for a very long time. This year Phil did not see his shadow which means his prediction is that there will not be six more weeks of bad weather.