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"Well, it's Groundhog Day... again... and that must mean that we're up here at Gobbler's Knob waiting for the forecast from the world's most famous groundhog weatherman, Punxsutawney Phil, who's just about to tell us how much more winter we can expect".

Bill Murray's character Phil Conners from the 1993 movie Groundhog Day.

On February 2nd of every year the nation turns its eyes to Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to get a weather forecast.  AJM would like to give you some fun little facts on just how this holiday actually started.

 

  • In 1887, was celebrated for the first time at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
  • The roots of Groundhog Day first started with the Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, which was a day when a clergy would bless and give out candles that would be needed winter. Each candle represented how long the winter would be.

  • Germans took the idea of Candlemas Day and expanded it to using an animal to judge the winter, which they choose a hedgehog. When Germans came to America, they changed the tradition for hedgehogs to groundhogs.

  • In February, male groundhogs come out from hibernation to search for a mate before they go back underground.

  • Eventually in 1887, a newspaper editor of Punxsutawney who belonged to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club declared the name of one groundhog to be the official weather telling marmot, which is Phil the groundhog.

  • So every year on February 2nd, people come all around to see whether or not Phil the groundhog sees his shadow (which means six more weeks of winter) or if he does not see his shadow and goes on his merry way (which means an early spring).

 

Fun Little Facts:

-         Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family.

-         They can swim and climb trees

-         Groundhogs fill up their tummies during the summer and hibernate during the winter in their warm cozy underground homes.

 

For more information and facts check out:

 

"First Groundhog Day." History.com. History.com, 2010. Web. 16 Jun 2010. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/2/2.

 

"Groundhog Day." Groundhog.com. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club , 2010. Web. 16 Jun 2010. http://www.groundhog.org/.

 

"Groundhog." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 2010. Web. 16 Jun 2010. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/groundhog.html.

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