Groundhog Day

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For the film, see Groundhog Day (film). For the stage musical, see Groundhog Day (musical). For other uses, see Groundhog Day (disambiguation).
Groundhog Day
Groundhogday2005.jpg
Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Type Cultural
Significance Predicts the arrival of spring
Celebrations Announcing whether a groundhog sees its shadow after it emerges from its burrow
Date February 2
Frequency Annual

Groundhog Day (Canadian French: Jour de la Marmotte; Pennsylvania German: Grundsaudaag, Murmeltiertag) is a traditional holiday celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then the spring season will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.[1]

Modern customs of the holiday involve early morning celebrations to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge,[2] social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g'spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.[3]

Groundhog Day was adopted in the U.S. in 1887. Clymer H. Freas was the editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit at the time, and he began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official "Groundhog Day meteorologist".[4]

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with Punxsutawney Phil. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition,[5] received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day.[6]

History[edit]

The celebration began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has its origins in ancient European weather lore, in which a badger or a sacred bear is the prognosticator, as opposed to a groundhog.[7] It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc (the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 2 and also involves weather prognostication[8]), and to St. Swithun's Day on July 15.

Historical origins[edit]

The groundhog (Marmota monax) is a rodent of the family Sciuridae, belonging to the group of large ground squirrels.
Banner of Grundsow Lodsh Nummer Sivva (Groundhog Lodge Number Seven), of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.

The first documented American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary entry,[9] dated February 4, 1841, by Morgantown, Pennsylvania, storekeeper James Morris:

Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans,[10] the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.

From England, the poem:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.[11]

From Scotland, the poem:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.[11]

From Germany, the poem:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until May.
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.[11]

Alternative origin theories[edit]

In some western countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the 'official' first day of spring is almost seven weeks (46–48 days) after Groundhog Day, on March 20 or March 21; in others, that date is traditionally the middle of spring, just as the solstice in June is midsummer day.

The custom could have been a folk embodiment of the confusion created by the collision of two calendar systems. Some ancient traditions marked the change of season at cross-quarter days such as Imbolc when daylight first makes significant progress against the night. Other traditions held that spring did not begin until the length of daylight overtook night at the Vernal Equinox. So an arbiter, the groundhog/hedgehog, was incorporated as a yearly custom to settle the two traditions. Sometimes spring begins at Imbolc, and sometimes winter lasts six more weeks until the equinox.[12]

Another theory states that the groundhog naturally comes out of hibernation in central Pennsylvania in early February because of the increasing average temperature; under this theory, if German settlement had been centered further north, Groundhog Day would take place at a later date.[13]

Locations[edit]

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000[14] have gathered to celebrate the holiday since at least 1886.[15] Other celebrations of note in Pennsylvania take place in Quarryville in Lancaster County,[16] the Anthracite Region of Schuylkill County,[17] and the Sinnamahoning Valley of Bucks County.[18]

The day is observed with various ceremonies at other locations in North America,[19] including Wiarton, Ontario,[20] the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Nova Scotia,[21] and the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas (which has what is claimed to be the second largest Groundhog celebration in the world).[22]

Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008[edit]

Date Prediction Groundhog Location
2016 6 more weeks of winter Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2016 Early spring[23] Chuckles Manchester, Connecticut
2016 6 more weeks of winter Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2016 Early spring[24] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2016 6 more weeks of spring[25] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2016 Early spring Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2016 Early spring[26] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2016 Early spring[27] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2016 Early spring[28] T-Boy the Nutria New Orleans, Louisiana
2016 Early spring[29] Woodstock Willie Woodstock, Illinois
2015 Early spring[30] Balzac Billy Balzac, Alberta
2015 Early spring[31] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2015 6 more weeks of winter[32] Chattanooga Chuck Chattanooga, Tennessee
2015 Early spring Chesapeake Chuck Newport News, Virginia
2015 6 more weeks of winter[33] Chuckles Manchester, Connecticut
2015 Early spring[34] Cocalico Cal Ephrata, Pennsylvania
2015 Early spring[35] Dover Doug Dover, Pennsylvania
2015 Early spring[36] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2015 6 more weeks of winter[37] Fred Val d'Espoir, Quebec
2015 Early spring[38] French Creek Freddie French Creek, West Virginia
2015 Early spring[39] General Beauregard Lee Lilburn, Georgia
2015 6 more weeks of winter[40] Grady the Groundhog Chimney Rock, North Carolina
2015 6 more weeks of winter[41] Holtsville Hal Holtsville, New York
2015 Disputed[42] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2015 Early spring[43] Lawrenceville Lucy Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania
2015 6 more weeks of winter[41] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2015 Early spring[44] Manitoba Merv Winnipeg, Manitoba
2015 6 more weeks of winter[34] Mount Joy Minnie Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
2015 Early spring[40] Nibbles Asheville, North Carolina
2015 Early spring[34] Octorara Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2015 6 more weeks of winter[45] Oil Springs Ollie Oil Springs, Ontario
2015 6 more weeks of spring[46] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2015 6 more weeks of winter[35] Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2015 6 more weeks of winter[47] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2015 6 more weeks of winter[48] Queen Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina
2015 6 more weeks of winter[49] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2015 Early spring[50] Sir Walter Wally Raleigh, North Carolina
2015 Early spring[51] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2015 Early spring[52] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2015 Early spring[53] Susquehanna Sherman Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania
2015 Early spring[54] T-Boy the Nutria New Orleans, Louisiana
2015 6 more weeks of winter[55] Uni Myerstown, Pennsylvania
2015 6 more weeks of winter[56] Western Maryland Murray Cumberland, Maryland
2015 Early spring[49] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2015 Early spring[44] Winnipeg Willow Winnipeg, Manitoba
2015 6 more weeks of winter[57] Woodstock Willie Woodstock, Illinois
2015 6 more weeks of winter[58] Woody
(with Murray serving as stand-in)
Howell, Michigan
2014 6 more weeks of winter Chesapeake Chuck Newport News, Virginia
2014 6 more weeks of winter[59] Dover Doug Dover, Pennsylvania
2014 6 more weeks of winter Dundas Donna Toronto, Ontario
2014 Early spring[60] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2014 Early spring [61] Fred Val d'Espoir, Quebec
2014 Early spring[62] Holtsville Hal Holtsville, New York
2014 Early spring[62] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2014 6 more weeks of spring[63] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2014 6 more weeks of winter[59] Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2014 6 more weeks of winter[64] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2014 6 more weeks of winter[65] Staten Island Chuck
(with Charlotte Sr. serving as stand-in)
Staten Island, New York City, New York
2014 6 more weeks of winter[66] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2014 Early spring[67] Susquehanna Sherman Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania
2014 Early spring[68] Winnipeg Willow Winnipeg, Manitoba
2013 6 more weeks of winter Chesapeake Chuck Newport News, Virginia
2013 6 more weeks of winter[69] Dover Doug Dover, Pennsylvania
2013 Early spring[70] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2013 6 more weeks of winter[71] Fred Val d'Espoir, Quebec
2013 Early spring[72] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2013 6 more weeks of winter[73] Flatiron Freddy Boulder, Colorado
2013 6 more weeks of winter[74] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2013 6 more weeks of winter[71] Manitoba Merv Winnipeg, Manitoba
2013 Early spring[75] Nibbles Asheville, North Carolina
2013 6 more weeks of winter[76] Octorara Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2013 6 more weeks of spring[77] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2013 6 more weeks of winter[78] Pine Grove Grover Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
2013 6 more weeks of winter[69] Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2013 Early spring[79] Potomac Phil Washington, D.C.
2013 Early spring[80] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2013 Early spring[71] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2013 6 more weeks of winter[73] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2013 6 more weeks of winter[69] Susquehanna Sherman Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania
2013 Early spring[81] T-Boy the Nutria New Orleans, Louisiana
2013 6 more weeks of winter[82] Western Maryland Murray Cumberland, Maryland
2013 Early spring[71] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2013 Early spring[71] Winnipeg Willow Winnipeg, Manitoba
2013 Early spring[83] Woody Howell, Michigan
2012 6 more weeks of winter[84] Balzac Billy Balzac, Alberta
2012 Early spring[85] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2012 Early spring[86] Chattanooga Chuck Chattanooga, Tennessee
2012 6 more weeks of winter Chesapeake Chuck Newport News, Virginia
2012 Early spring[87] Chuckles Manchester, Connecticut
2012 Early spring[88] Dover Doug Dover, Pennsylvania
2012 Early spring[89] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2012 6 more weeks of winter[90] Fred Val d'Espoir, Quebec
2012 Early spring[91] French Creek Freddie French Creek, West Virginia
2012 Early spring[92] General Beauregard Lee Lilburn, Georgia
2012 6 more weeks of winter[93] Grady the Groundhog Chimney Rock, North Carolina
2012 Early spring[94] Gus Athens, Georgia
2012 Early spring[95] Holtsville Hal Holtsville, New York
2012 Early spring[96] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2012 6 more weeks of winter[97] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2012 Early spring[98] Mortimer Garner, North Carolina
2012 6 more weeks of winter[99] Mount Joy Minnie Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
2012 Early spring[93] Nibbles Asheville, North Carolina
2012 Early spring[100] Octoraro Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2012 Early spring[99] Patty Pagoda Reading, Pennsylvania
2012 6 more weeks of spring[101] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2012 Early spring[88] Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2012 6 more weeks of winter[102] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2012 6 more weeks of winter[103] Queen Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina
2012 Early spring[104] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2012 Early spring[105] Sir Thomas Hastings Hastings, Nebraska
2012 6 more weeks of winter[98] Sir Walter Wally Raleigh, North Carolina
2012 Early spring[106] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2012 Early spring[107] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2012 Early spring[88] Susquehanna Sherman Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania
2012 Early spring[108] T-Boy the Nutria New Orleans, Louisiana
2012 6 more weeks of winter[109] Uni Myerstown, Pennsylvania
2012 6 more weeks of winter[110] Western Maryland Murray Cumberland, Maryland
2012 Early spring[111] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2012 Early spring[112] Woodstock Willie Woodstock, Illinois
2012 Early spring[113] Woody Howell, Michigan
2012 Early spring[114] Wynter the Groundhog Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2011 6 more weeks of winter[115] Balzac Billy Balzac, Alberta
2011 Early spring[116] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2011 6 more weeks of winter Chesapeake Chuck Newport News, Virginia
2011 Early spring[117] Chuckles Manchester, Connecticut
2011 6 more weeks of winter[118] Dover Doug Dover, Pennsylvania
2011 Early spring[119] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2011 Early spring[120] French Creek Freddie French Creek, West Virginia
2011 Early spring[121] General Beauregard Lee Lilburn, Georgia
2011 Early spring[122] Grady the Groundhog Chimney Rock, North Carolina
2011 Early spring[123] Gus Athens, Georgia
2011 6 more weeks of winter[124] Holtsville Hal Holtsville, New York
2011 Early spring[125] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2011 Early spring[126] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2011 6 more weeks of winter[127] Octoraro Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2011 Early summer[128] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2011 6 more weeks of winter[118] Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2011 Early spring[129] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2011 Early spring[130] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2011 6 more weeks of winter[131] Sir Walter Wally Raleigh, North Carolina
2011 Early spring[132] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2011 6 more weeks of winter[133] Stormy Marmot Aurora, Colorado
2011 Early spring[118] Susquehanna Sherman Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania
2011 Early spring[134] T-Boy the Nutria New Orleans, Louisiana
2011 Early spring[135] Tumbleweed Brookfield, Illinois
2011 6 more weeks of winter[136] Uni Myerstown, Pennsylvania
2011 6 more weeks of winter[137] Western Maryland Murray Cumberland, Maryland
2011 Early spring[130] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2011 6 more weeks of winter[113] Woody Howell, Michigan
2010 Early spring[138] Balzac Billy Balzac, Alberta
2010 Early spring[139] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2010 Early spring[140] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2010 Early spring[141] French Creek Freddie French Creek, West Virginia
2010 Early spring[142] General Beauregard Lee Lilburn, Georgia
2010 Early spring[143] Gus Athens, Georgia
2010 Early spring[144] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2010 Early spring[145] Octoraro Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2010 6 more weeks of spring[146] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2010 6 more weeks of winter Poor Richard York, Pennsylvania
2010 6 more weeks of winter[102] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2010 Early spring[143] Queen Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina
2010 6 more weeks of winter Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2010 Early spring[147] Sir Walter Wally Raleigh, North Carolina
2010 6 more weeks of winter[148] Smith Lake Jake Graysville, Alabama
2010 Early spring[149] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2010 Early spring[150] Uni Myerstown, Pennsylvania
2010 6 more weeks of winter[151] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2010 Early spring[152] Woodstock Willie Woodstock, Illinois
2009 6 more weeks of winter[153] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2009 Early spring[154] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2009 Early spring[155] French Creek Freddie French Creek, West Virginia
2009 6 more weeks of winter[143] Gus Athens, Georgia
2009 6 more weeks of winter[156] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2009 Early spring[157] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2009 6 more weeks of winter[158] Octoraro Orphie Quarryville, Pennsylvania
2009 6 more weeks of spring[159] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2009 6 more weeks of winter[160] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2009 Early spring[161] Queen Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina
2009 6 more weeks of winter[162] Shubenacadie Sam Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2009 Early spring[163] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2009 6 more weeks of winter[162] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario
2009 6 more weeks of winter[164] Woodstock Willie Woodstock, Illinois
2008 Early spring[165] Balzac Billy Balzac, Alberta
2008 Early spring[166] Buckeye Chuck Marion, Ohio
2008 Early spring[167] Dunkirk Dave Dunkirk, New York
2008 Early spring[168] General Beauregard Lee Lilburn, Georgia
2008 Early spring[169] Jimmy the Groundhog Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
2008 Early spring[170] Malverne Mel Malverne, New York
2008 6 more weeks of spring[171] Pierre C. Shadeaux New Iberia, Louisiana
2008 6 more weeks of winter[102] Punxsutawney Phil Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
2008 6 more weeks of winter[168] Queen Charlotte Charlotte, North Carolina
2008 6 more weeks of winter[172] Sir Walter Wally Raleigh, North Carolina
2008 6 more weeks of winter[160] Smith Lake Jake Graysville, Alabama
2008 Early spring[170] Staten Island Chuck Staten Island, New York City, New York
2008 Early spring[165] Wiarton Willie Wiarton, Ontario

Meteorological accuracy[edit]

According to Groundhog Day organizers, the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90% of the time.[173] However, a Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years found that the weather patterns predicted on Groundhog Day were only 37% accurate over that time period.[173] According to the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, Punxsutawney Phil's weather predictions have been correct 39% of the time.[11] The National Climatic Data Center has described the forecasts as "on average, inaccurate" and stated that "[t]he groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years."[174]

In popular culture[edit]

  • At the end of Disney's 1930 Silly Symphonies short film Winter, Mr. Groundhog the Weather Prophet comes out of his hole to determine whether or not there will be more winter. At first, he does not see his shadow, but the clouds clear and his shadow appears, causing him to run back inside. At this point, the winds picks up again and winter continues.
  • Tex Avery's 1940 Warner Brothers cartoon Wacky Wildlife features a brief gag with a groundhog that peeks outside, then retreats into a burrow filled with high-tech (for the time) weather equipment.
  • The 1941 Woody Woodpecker short Pantry Panic portrays the groundhog as a weather forecaster, although in this case he forecasts the timing of the beginning of winter, not the end of it.
  • The 1947 Warner Bros. cartoon One Meat Brawl features Grover Groundhog singing the "Groundhog Song" with music by Carl W. Stalling and lyrics by Warren Foster.[175]
  • In the 1979 Rankin-Bass Christmas TV special Jack Frost, a crucial plot point in the story involves Jack casting his own shadow on Groundhog Day for six more weeks of winter. At the end of the story it is revealed that the narrator (voiced by Buddy Hackett) is the groundhog.
  • "Groundhog's Day" appears as the second track from the 1990 album Frizzle Fry by the San Francisco area trio Primus. The song is set on Groundhog Day, from the anthropomorphic perspective of the groundhog. The song's theme deals with growth, perseverance, and fresh starts.
  • The 1993 comedy movie Groundhog Day is set in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on this day. The main character is forced to relive the day over and over again until he can learn to give up his selfishness and become a better person.[176]
  • In "Franklin and the Grump" from Franklin (Season 3, 2000), the character Mr. Groundhog was an anthropomorphic groundhog with a great interest in meteorology who didn't want to participate in Groundhog Day anymore because there were always those who were upset regardless of what he predicted. He "officially canceled" the holiday, but the title character told his friends and family about the problem and the entire community gathered to give him a day just for him. Mr. Groundhog was later featured as more regular character in the series.
  • In Disney's 2006 film Bambi II, Bambi accompanies his friends Thumper and Flower to go and see the Groundhog, whose shadow will foretell if winter will end soon.
  • The Man in the Moon is about to choose a new Guardian in the 2012 Dreamworks film Rise of the Guardians, and Bunnymund hopes that it is not the Groundhog.

Similar customs[edit]

A similar custom is celebrated among Orthodox Christians in Serbia on February 15 (February 2 according to the local religious Julian calendar) during the feast of celebration of Sretenje or The Meeting of the Lord (Candlemas). It is believed that the bear will awaken from winter dormancy on this day, and if it sees (meets) its own shadow in this sleepy and confused state, it will get scared and go back to sleep for an additional 40 days, thus prolonging the winter. Thus, if it is sunny on Sretenje, it is a sign that the winter is not over yet. If it is cloudy, it is a good sign that the winter is about to end.

In Germany, June 27 is Siebenschläfertag (Seven Sleepers Day). If it rains that day, the rest of summer is supposedly going to be rainy. It might seem to refer to the "Siebenschläfer" squirrel (Glis glis), also known as the "edible dormouse", but it actually commemorates the Seven Sleepers (the actual commemoration day is July 25).

In the United Kingdom, July 15 is known as St Swithun's day. It was traditionally believed that, if it rained on that day, it would rain for the next 40 days and nights.

The state of Louisiana also varies somewhat from the traditional Groundhog Day theme, as groundhogs are not indigenous to that area. Since about the late 1980s, Groundhog Day in New Orleans has been observed with T-Boy the Nutria, a coypu based at the Audubon Zoo.[177] Since 1997 Pierre C. Shadeaux, also a coypu, has been the focus of "Cajun Groundhog Day" festivities in New Iberia. Because of Louisiana's subtropical climate, Pierre forecasts either a longer spring or an early summer, as opposed to the usual groundhog option of a longer winter or spring.[159] Another Louisiana Groundhog Day tradition, in Shreveport, centers on Claude the Cajun Crawfish.[63]

In Clark County, Nevada a similar tradition is observed with a Desert Tortoise named Mojave Max.

Incidents[edit]

Several unforeseen incidents have involved animals handled during Groundhog Day events. During New York City's annual Groundhog Day event at the Staten Island Zoo on February 2, 2009, a groundhog named "Chuck" drew blood when biting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gloved finger while Bloomberg was trying to lure Chuck out of his wooden shelter.[178] Five years later, on February 2, 2014, Bloomberg's mayoral successor, Bill de Blasio, dropped "Chuck" (subsequently revealed to be Chuck's granddaughter, "Charlotte"), who seven days later died of "acute internal injuries".[65][179] At the city's next Groundhog Day event on February 2, 2015, "Staten Island Chuck" walked out of a hutch that an elevator had lifted onto the stage of a portable Plexiglass-enclosed habitat, while de Blasio watched from six feet away.[51][180]

During Sun Prairie, Wisconsin's annual Groundhog Day celebration on February 2, 2015, "Jimmy the Groundhog" bit Mayor Jonathan Freund's ear while being held by Jimmy's caretaker.[42] The next day, Freund issued a proclamation that officially pardoned and absolved Jimmy "of any perceived wrongdoing and charges" under the city's ordinance. The proclamation stated that Jimmy had "created an international media sensation, thereby helping the world to learn more about our great City".[181]

Following the biting incident, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources informed the organization that had sponsored Sun Prairie's celebration that capturing wild animals for exhibit was against the law.[182][183] The organization's manager then reported that Jimmy had escaped from his hutch before she could respond to these complaints.[182] Sun Prairie's next Groundhog Day celebration on February 2, 2016, featured a caged groundhog purchased for $1,200, an elected costumed "mascot" and a different mayor.[183][184]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Cohen, p. 57.
  2. ^ Yoder, p. xii.
  3. ^ Rosenberger, Homer Tope (1966). The Pennsylvania Germans: 1891–1965. Lancaster, PA: Pennsylvania German Society. pp. 194–199. OCLC 1745108. 
  4. ^ "10 Things You Didn't Know About Groundhog Day". LCstyle. Retrieved 2016-01-22. 
  5. ^ "Pennsylvania Town Awaits Groundhog Day". New York Times. February 2, 1986. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ Yoder, pp. 14–15.
  7. ^ Yoder, p. i.
  8. ^ Yoder, p. 43.
  9. ^ History Society of Berks County, Reading, Pennsylvania.
  10. ^ The attribution to the "Germans" may be based on some German Bauernregeln (farmers' rules) like this one: Wenn sich der Dachs zu Lichtmeß sonnt, so gehet er wieder auf vier Wochen in sein Loch. (If the badger is in the sun at Candlemas, he will have to go back into his hole for another four weeks. Joseph Arnold Lewenau : Der angewandte Fresenius; oder, Sammlung geordneter allgemeiner Witterungs- und sogenannter Bauernregeln: mit beygefügten Erklärungen ihres Grundes und vernünftigen Sinnes zu einem nützlichen Gebrauch ... vorzüglich beym Betriebe der Landwirthschaft. Vienna: J.G. Mösle, 1823, p. 20.
  11. ^ a b c d "Groundhog Day". Stormfax Weather Almanac. 2014. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Stormfax" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  12. ^ Groundhog Day, Margaret Kruesi. Journal of American Folklore. Washington: Summer 2007. Vol. 120, Iss. 477; p. 367+.
  13. ^ Coin, Glenn (February 1, 2015). Groundhog Day 2016: Do you trust a rodent to predict the weather? Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  14. ^ Park, PhD, David (2006). "Happy Groundhog Day to You!". Retrieved February 2, 2009. 
  15. ^ Yoder, p. 9.
  16. ^ Yoder, pp. 19–28.
  17. ^ Yoder, pp. 29–30.
  18. ^ Yoder, pp. 30-31.
  19. ^ Yoder, pp. 33.
  20. ^ "Hopeful Canadians look to Groundhog Day for predictions of an early spring". Canadian Press. February 2, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Shubenacadie Sam prepping for Groundhog Day". King's County Register. January 30, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  22. ^ Colleges in the Midwest: Compare Colleges in Your Region (24 ed.). Peterson's. 2009. p. 298. ISBN 9780768926903. Retrieved February 1, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Chuckles VIII Predicts An Early Spring". courant.com. February 2, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Jimmy the Groundhog predicts early spring". Madison, Wisconsin: WISC-TV. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Pierre C. Shadeaux delivers again, sees no shadow to forecast long spring". iberianet.com. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Groundhog Day: Shubenacadie Sam, Punxsutawney Phil predict early spring". CTV News. February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Happy Groundhog Day!". asnaggydime.com. February 2, 2016. 
  28. ^ Mike Scott (February 2, 2016). "Groundhog Day 2016: T-boy the nutria predicts early spring". nola.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016. 
  29. ^ "No shadow for Woodstock Willie, spring coming early". February 2, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2016. 
  30. ^ Ramsay, Melissa (February 2, 2015). "Balzac Billy predicts an early spring". CICT. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  31. ^ "Chuck says early spring; Phil disagrees". The Marion Star. February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Chattanooga Chuck Predicts 6 More Weeks Of Winter". WTVC. February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  33. ^ "Chuckles predicts six more weeks of winter". The Hartford Courant. February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  34. ^ a b c Rios, Alejandro (February 2, 2015). "2 of Lancaster County's 3 groundhogs predict early spring". LancasterOnline. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  35. ^ a b Kauffmann, Christina (February 2, 2015). "York's groundhogs predict both more spring and more winter". The York Dispatch. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  36. ^ Will, Bob (February 2, 2015). "Ground Hog Day 2015". Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  37. ^ "Fred la marmotte : encore six semaines d'hiver!". Radio-Canada. February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  38. ^ Watson, Lindsey (February 2, 2015). "French Creek Freddie Predicts an Early Spring". WDTV. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  39. ^ Morris, Mike (February 2, 2015). "Georgia groundhog predicts early spring". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
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References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Aaron, Michael A., Brewster B. Boyd, Jr., Melanie J. Curtis, Paul M. Sommers (January 2001). "Punxsutawney's Phenomenal Phorecaster". The College Mathematics Journal, 32(1):26–29. doi:10.2307/2687216.
  • Old, W. C., and P. Billin-Frye (2004). The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun. Morton Grove, IL: Albert Whitman.
  • Pulling, A. F. (2001). Around Punxsutawney. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia.

External links[edit]