Groundhog dayHappy Groundhog Day! Will we have six more weeks of winter? Goodness I hope not. Here are some fun facts and useless trivia bits about this odd and historical holiday:

  • Groundhog Day can be traced back to many different methods of predicting spring weather, one of which was Candlemas Day that took hold in Europe during the Dark Ages. There was an English rhyme that went:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

  • Settlers from Europe brought the Candlemas tradition with them to Pennsylvania and apparently decided that since groundhogs were so plentiful and intelligent they were the logical choice for carrying on the tradition.
  • The first official “Groundhog Day” was celebrated on February 2, 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
  • Punxsutawney Phil’s burrow is located on a hill called “Gobbler’s Knob.”
  • The movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray was released in 1993.
  • Punxsutawney Phil was on Oprah in 1995.
  • This year will be Punxsutawney Phil’s 125th prediction.
  • There has only ever been one Punxsutawney Phil in all the years since the holiday first began — he drinks a magic “groundhog punch” every summer that gives him 7 more years of life.

Update: The groundhog DIDN’T see his shadow this morning, which means we’ll have an early spring!

Photo by StephanZacharias on Flickr

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