on February 2nd, Punxsatawney Phil of Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania, arises
from his den and looks for his shadow. If he sees a shadow, there
will be six more weeks until Spring. The early coming of Spring will
be foretold if a shadow is not seen.
The origins of
Groundhog Day may have its roots in old Celtic celebrations. Many
of their celebrations surrounded the changing of the seasons. One
of the days they celebrated was called Imbolog, which took place half
way between the Winter and the Spring. If the weather was nice on
this feast day, then they were in for a long winter, but if the feast
was hindered by bad weather, they could celebrate the early coming of
grew, it absorbed many of the local customs into the new "religious"
holidays. In this case, the holiday of Candelmas occurs at about
the same time as the Imbolog celebration and the custom of foretelling
the weather became a part of Candelmas in parts of Europe, such as
England and Germany.
The early German
settlers, took their customs with them to the America. A large
German population settled in the area of Pennsylvania. The weather
prediction became part of local custom when they would observe the
habits of the groundhog on Candelmas. In
there was a groundhog that seemed to be able to foretell the weather
with some degree of accuracy and every year first hundreds, and now
thousands of spectators come to the town to see if the ancestor of the
Phil" sees his shadow to foretell the early coming of Spring.
2005: Phil took a look outside and saw his shadow.
Don't put away your winter coats yet, we have another six weeks of
winter before the Spring begins.
Groundhog Day Facts
The official website for Punxsatawneyphil and Groundhog Day festivities,
Unofficial site with facts, stories and pictures about Phil and Groundhog
Groundhog Day History
(StormFax): Almanac and information on
Punxsatawney, PA and Groundhog Day.
The One Stop Web Site for everything Groundhog! Information, Activities,
Merchandise, Links, Birthday Club and More!
February Favorites (Jerrie Cheek): List of links on Groundhog Day and
other February Holidays.
Day (Infoplease.com): Information and history of Phil and the
Groundhog Day celebration.
Groundhog Day and Chinese
Astronomy (Fresian.com): A detailed essay discussing the date of
Groundhog Day (Feb. 2nd) and how it relates to early Chinese Astronomy.
of the Shadow: Learn about shadows, groundhogs,
Groundhog Day, hibernation and sundials.
at HogHaven (Hoghaven.com): A website about Groundhogs in
general with pictures from a live groundhog den.
Groundhog Day Activities & Lesson Plans
Weather Channel (official site): Offers forecasts for cities
worldwide as well as radar and satellite maps.
Online (AstrologyOnline.com): The largest Astrology site on the
Internet. Featuring daily and weekly original horoscopes by Michael
day is barely celebrated by most people outside of Punxsatawney,
Pennsylvania. However, most of us keep track of whether Phil sees
his shadow to dictate the return of summer.
and a Movie: Groundhog day is a good time for a dinner and a
movie. This would make a nice romantic gift. Since it is a day for
looking into the future and reflecting on the past and not a day for work,
forget about cooking and order in some food. Chinese food might be a
good idea, as long as you read your fortune cookie at the end of the meal.
Then pop in Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray. In this movie
Murray is forced to take a look at his life and his relationships and
spend the movie changing them for a better future. This move would also
make a good gift for others on this holiday.
to Punxatawney: From what people tell me the town of Punxatawney
becomes a great big party during the days surrounding Groundhog day.
Taking your special someone, or just some good friends to the festivities
would be a great gift - but remember to book your hotel room early.
Gifts: Although not traditionally a gift giving holiday, some gift
giving suggestions include anything dealing with Weather Forecasting,
Astrology or Fortune Telling. Since this holiday revolves around foretelling
the future, these would be very appropriate gifts.