On Groundhog Day, February 2, a lot of eyes turn to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see if the Groundhog sees his shadow as a weather predictor. Honestly, the best part about the day for us is an excuse to watch Bill Murry in the 1993 classic movie.
Punxsutawney Phil is by far the world’s most famous weather prognosticator. Every February 2nd eyes from around the world watch in on Gobbler’s Knob to see his prediction.
In the post at National Day Calendar:
The tradition of predicting the length of the remaining winter is intertwined with the Christian holiday, Candlemas. The clergy would bless candles symbolizing the ‘light of the world’ to give to their congregations. Another tradition associated with this day is eating crepes. Germans practiced the art of predicting the winter with a hedgehog. When they arrived in the United States, they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, and the groundhog became the official predictor.
National Day Calendar goes on to mention an early diary entry from a Pennsylvania storekeeper dated February 4, 1841:
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”
Still, I am a big Bill Murry fan, and Groundhog Day is one of my favorites…