Groundhog Day is coming up on February 2nd! That means we’re going to soon find out if we’ll have six more weeks of wintery weather or an early spring.
Of course, there’s no way for a groundhog to predict or control the weather – and he’s often incorrect. But Groundhog Day is a chance for everyone to have some fun and be silly after the holiday season. Much needed after a few months of frigid weather!
Why do we celebrate this holiday, anyway? Who was the first person to think a groundhog could tell us what the upcoming weather would be like? And how did it become a nationwide event?
Let’s learn about Groundhog Day!
- People in the Middle Ages believed that some animals came out of hibernation on February 1st
In the Middle Ages, it was thought that bears and badgers (similar to a groundhog) came out of hibernation when winter started to melt into spring. Seeing these animals rustling around on February 1st was an indication of warmer weather to come!
- The tradition was brought over from Germany
People of Germany eventually came to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and brought the tradition with them. However, badgers don’t live in Pennsylvania, so they decided to use a groundhog as their spring symbol instead.
- The groundhog is named Punxsutawney Phil
Every day since 1887, a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil is removed from his burrow and watched by anxious news reports and local citizens to see if they will have six more weeks of winter (indicated by Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow) or forthcoming warm weather (no shadow). Some locals swear that Punxsutawney Phil has never been wrong! But weather reports disagree.
Either way, Groundhog Day is a cute and fun way to celebrate February 2nd throughout the U.S.!
IMAGINE EARLY EDUCATION AND CHILDCARE
Here at Imagine, we help our students understand and celebrate holidays by learning about their interesting histories. Contact us today to learn how we’re celebrating Groundhog Day and other upcoming holidays!