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On the Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 20, people expect Punxsutawney Phil to predict either more six wintry weeks or the beginning of an early spring, depending on whether after emerging from the burrow, he sees his shadow or not respectively.

  1. The celebrations of the first Groundhog Day took place on February 2, 1887, in a small Pennsylvanian town, called Punxsutawney.
  2. Many centuries ago, the Groundhog Day, originated from a pagan festival Imbolc and associated with weather prophecy and fecundity, marked the advent of spring.
  3. With the spreading of Christianity throughout Europe, Imbolc developed into the Candlemas Day. The Christians believed that a sunny Candlemas Day signified 40 days of the snowy and cold weather. When some Germans immigrated to North America, they brought their tradition, replacing a groundhog with a hedgehog.
  4. The groundhog, in other words, whistle-pig, woodchuck, and land-beaver, belongs to a group of marmots, known as ground squirrels.
  5. Centuries ago, the Europeans had a tendency to watch such animals in hibernation as badgers, hedgehogs, and bears, who could mark the end of winter.
  6. In 1887, Punxsutawney Groundhog Club pronounced the full name of the groundhog, which sounds Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. Additionally, they proclaimed Punxsutawney as the world’s weather capital.
  7. Punxsutawney Groundhog Club emerged in the 1880s and was responsible for the protection and perpetuation of the Punxsutawney Phil’s legend.
  8. Weather forecasts by Punxsutawney Phil take place annually on February 2, at the crack of dawn.
  9. According to a legend, Punxsutawney Phil is a long-lived rodent, who reached 124 years owing to a magical groundhog punch.
  10. At times, Phil has given political statements. Moreover, during Prohibition, in case of imposition of an outright ban on drinking, he would prolong winter for 60 weeks.
  11. As the Groundhog club states, Phil, after making a forecast, has a conversation with the President of the Club in Groundhogese, understood only by the current president.
  12. In Morgantown, Pennsylvania, James Morris, an owner of a book store, recorded the first American reference to Groundhog Day in the diary, dated back to the 4th of February, 1841. He mentioned the Candlemas Day and legend connected to this event.
  13. Except for Punxsutawney Phil, there is a bunch of other groundhogs famous for predicting the weather. Dunkirk Dave, Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam, and General Beauregard Lee belong to the prognosticating groundhogs.
  14. Instead of celebrating the Groundhog Day, Texas, deprived of these furry rodents, celebrates the Armadillo Day. Their forecaster, the armadillo, called Bee Cave Bob, lives in the city of Bee Cave (not far from Austin).
  15. After the release of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993, Punxsutawney hosted more than 30,000 attendance figures.
  16. The film Groundhog Day has been shot in Woodstock, Illinois, by Columbia Pictures.
  17. In Punxsutawney, when it concerns the wedding business, the locals prefer Groundhog Day theme rather than Valentine’s Day style.
  18. According to the Stormfax Weather Almanac, Phil saw his shadow 100 times while negative sightings numbered only six times.
  19. As the National Climatic Data Center states, 39 percent of Phil’s predictions were truthful.

In Vermillion, Ohio, people celebrate the Woolybear Festival, where a weather-predicting animal is a caterpillar, called Wooly Bear.