NATIONAL NEWS

Groundhog Day Fast Facts

Jan 25, 2022, 2:22 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:21 pm
PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 2: Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after he sa...
PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 2: Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow predicting six more weeks of winter during 128th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2014 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in the United States and Canada. A smaller than usual crowd this year of less than 25,000 people spent a night of revelry awaiting the sunrise and the groundhog's exit from his winter den. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his den. Early spring arrives if he does not see his shadow, causing Phil to remain above ground. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Here’s a look at Groundhog Day, an American tradition that is meant to predict when spring will arrive.

February 2, 2021 – Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, predicting six additional weeks of winter.

February 2, 2020 – Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.

 

Facts

 

The groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2.

If the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges, there will be six more weeks of winter.

If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive soon.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought the custom to America.

Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil is the most well-known, but more than a dozen states celebrate with their own groundhogs, such as Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio.

 

Punxsutawney Phil – Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

 

His full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”

February 2, 1886 – The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper proclaims this date as Pennsylvania’s first official Groundhog Day celebration.

Phil has correctly predicted the beginning of spring 100% of the time, according to his owners. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the groundhog’s record isn’t perfect.

1986 – Phil travels to Washington, DC to meet with President Ronald Reagan.

1993 – Columbia Pictures releases the movie, “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. In the years following the release of the movie, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney.

1995 – Phil appears on the Oprah Winfrey show.

January 27, 2010 – The animal rights group PETA suggests using a robotic groundhog in place of Punxsutawney Phil.

February 2, 2010 – For the first time, fans can register for a text message alert of Phil’s prediction.

January 28, 2020 – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals calls on the keepers of Punxsutawney Phil to let him retire — and to be replaced by an animatronic groundhog.

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Groundhog Day Fast Facts