Calendar of Events
Feb 2 - Groundhog Day
Feb 14 - Valentines Day
Feb 16 - Mardi Gras
Feb 17 - Ash Wednesday
Groundhog Day History
Groundhog Day, celebrated across
the United States and Canada, on February 2, is
purely a North American tradition. It is based
on a belief that on this day (February 2) the
groundhog, or woodchuck, comes out of its hole
after winter hibernation to look for its shadow.
If the shadow is seen, it's a sunny day.
And the groundhog foretells six more weeks of
bad weather and thus a lingering winter.
But spring is coming if no shadow is seen
because of clouds. The groundhog then
behaves accordingly. It goes back into the
hole if the weather turns bad, but stays above
ground if spring is near.
Thus weather prediction or
prognostication came as in integral feature of
Groundhog Day tradition. This prediction
owes its origin to the European tradition of
Candlemas. There is an old European
supposition that a sunny Candlemas Day would
lead the winter to last for another six weeks.
Also celebrated on February 2, that was used to
commemorate the Purification of the Virgin Mary.
Candles fro sacred used were blessed on this
day. Gradually the traditions at this Candlemas
came to associate them with different folklores.
The German added the belief of an animal,
initially a hedgehog, being frightened by his
shadow on Candlemas would fortell that winter
would last another six weeks. This belief
was brought in America during the 18th
Century by the German settlers. These
settlers adopted the groundhog as their weather
The groundhog day came into being
in North America during the late 1800s.
Thanks to the combined effort of Clymer H. Freas,
a newspaper editor, and W. Smith, an American
Congressman and newspaper publisher. They
organized and popularized a yearly festival in
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the State was
populated predominantly by German settlers.
The festival featured a groundhog named
Punxsutawney Phil with used to foretell how long
the winter would last. This very popular event
is still being held and is called Groundhog Day.
There has been a concerted effort
in popularizing and commercializing the
Groundhog Day across the United States.
Chuck Wood is The Committee for the
commercialization of Groundhog Day's official
mascot. The movie "Groundhog Day," has
played a key role in popularizing the schedule
of events in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on and
around February 2. Apart from
Pennsylvania, fascination Groundhog events are
also held in other states, especially, Nebraska,
Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Arkansas, and
The Groundhog Day is also very
popular in Canada and Wiarton Willy is the
Groundhog that is used to predict the length of
winter over there.