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Monday, 11 May 2015

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2 each year. According to tradition, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, and the groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter can be expected.

Groundhogday 2005 Wikipedia Commons

The tradition of Groundhog Day originated from a German tradition on Candlemas, a Christian holiday that fell on the day exactly between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. If the sun came out that day, it was believed winter would continue for six more weeks. A badger or sacred bear was the prognosticator, as opposed to a groundhog.

When Germans started to immigrate to Pennsylvania in the 18th century, they introduced the tradition to America and the groundhog became the prognosticator.

The groundhog is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels

The first official Groundhog Day was celebrated February 2, 1886. The groundhog, as reported by The Punxsutawney Spirit, did not see his shadow that year.

 The annual groundhog prediction ceremony is made at a place called Gobbler’s Knob in Woodland’s Avenue Punxsutawney.

Attendance has increased since the famous Groundhog Day movie made in 1993 starring Bill Murray. The record year is 1997, with around 35,000 visitors.

The Groundhog Day movie was actually filmed in Woodstock, Illinois.

In 2014  New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the groundhog used for the city's Groundhog Day ceremony.The groundhog, named Charlotte, died a week later of internal injuries.

 Source The Battalion

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