Thursday, February 2, 2023

30 years of 'Groundhog Day' on Groundhog Day as Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow

Happy Groundhog Day! In addition to the holiday, it's also the 30th anniversary of the Bill Murray movie. WCNC celebrated both in Weather IQ: Groundhog Day.

It’s Groundhog Day and people are waiting to learn whether a furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town will predict an early spring or six more weeks of winter.

People will gather Thursday at Gobbler’s Knob as members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summon him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he has seen his shadow. According to folklore, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring comes early.

The “inner circle” is a group of local dignitaries who are responsible for planning the annual events, as well as feeding and caring for Phil himself.

The annual event in Punxsutawney originated from a German legend about a furry rodent. Officials in the community — which is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh — are hoping the usual crowd of between 10,000 to 15,000 visitors comes out for the event, which will also be livestreamed.
Just like Christmas trees, Groundhog Day is another holiday tradition that came to the U.S. from Germany. I should have suspected that just based on Pennsylvania being the home of the most famous groundhog/woodchuck. Since I'm a biologist, I'm pointing out that the European badger is a carnivoran, specifically a weasel, not a rodent, not that it really matters for the U.S. tradition, which does involve a rodent.

National Day Calendar had a more superficial and contemporary description of the holiday in National Groundhog Day | February 2.

I spoiled it for my readers in the subject line, but Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning. Watch Groundhog Day 2023, watch Punxsutawney Phil's prediction from PennLive.

Groundhog Day 2023, watch Punxsutawney Phil's prediction between six more weeks of winter or an early spring.
Six more weeks of winter. Considering that it's so cold that I'm running water through my taps to keep my pipes from freezing, I'm not the least bit surprised. Stay warm, everyone.

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