Talk:Groundhog Day

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Questions[edit]

How do they make sure that the groundhog comes out of its den on February 2? Does it come out of its den every day? How do they locate the den? And how do we know the observers aren't scaring the poor thing back in with all the fuss and commotion? And who picks the groundhog, anyhow? Pauxetawny Phil hasn't been the same animal since 1850! And what ahppens if he dies in his den over winter and doesn't come out at all? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:30A:C08C:A6F0:219:E3FF:FE04:C392 (talk) 13:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

All your questions are answered by Punxsutawney Phil. Maybe the general principles of the process should be added here too. Heenan73 (talk) 18:02, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
They reach into Phil's den with a gloved hand and drag him out.Flight Risk (talk) 16:33, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Clean Up Predictions table[edit]

This table gets longer each year with new prognostications. Since Wikipedia isn't just a compilation of lists, I suggest paring down this table to the most recent predictions. Thoughts?Wkharrisjr (talk) 13:02, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Also why does every animal in every little town have to be mentioned on this chart. Why cant it stick to animals with articles or just the famous ones. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.38.59.163 (talk) 17:54, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

It seems pretty pointless to have the table at all without recording the accuracy of each prediction. And I agree that the groundhog selection seems arbitrary, especially as at least five have their own page and only two of them are included. Just seems random, rather than informative. Heenan73 (talk) 17:56, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
It's just a bunch of well-sourced useless trivia, and would be better off removed. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 16:09, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
I did that just now, after a false positive by a bot. I am glad to see that others see it as trivia. I cam here to read up a bit on the day after watching our traditional Bill Murray film yesterday, to scroll and scroll and scroll through bonkers details about stuff that isn't related to Groundhog Day at all. TheValeyard (talk) 02:22, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Some editors do not believe that the table is trivial. See "Discuss: Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008" below. Corker1 (talk) 18:49, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Dunkirk Dave[edit]

The article currently lists Dunkirk Dave as living in Dunkirk, New York. This is incorrect. Though he is named for Dunkirk, Dunkirk Dave lives in the Buffalo Zoo in Buffalo, New York.Floggolozzo (talk) 21:55, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Is there a source or citation for this fact? I did some casual Googling, and according to a 2010 article in Dunkirk's Observer paper, "With cloudy skies above Dunkirk Dave's den on Farmlane Drive in the town of Dunkirk, the weather-forecasting groundhog predicted early spring weather for Western New York." [1] Alphageekpa (talk) 22:53, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup of "In Popular Culture"[edit]

Removed the following content from the "In Popular Content" section as non-notable. Alphageekpa (talk) 22:16, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Sega often connects promotions for its Sonic the Hedgehog franchise to February 2, dubbing it "Hedgehog Day." It started with Sonic the Hedgehog 3, a Genesis game released in North America on February 2, 1994. "Hedgehog Day" is also an episode in the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book.
  • In the episode "Next Question" of the children's animated show, As Told by Ginger, Carl and Hoodsey liberate the town's groundhog so they can sell scarves remembering their Groundhog, Pete. When the matter is investigated, a monkey, Mr. Licorice, is found in the hole and people think that he ate Pete.
  • In an episode of The O.C. titled "The Groundhog Day," Seth Cohen and Che attempt to save the animal used on Groundhog Day in their town of Newport.
  • Nintendo's GameCube game Animal Crossing celebrates Groundhog Day on February 2 as well. The mayor of the in-game town mentions it is the day "The groundhog fairy comes around to give groundhogs to all the good little boys and girls" and a mole character takes up the role of Groundhog for the celebrations.
  • The comic book Hack/Slash: Entry Wound featured a Groundhog Day-based villain, an undead serial killer buried in Pennsylvania who would awaken and bring six weeks of death if the groundhog saw its shadow.
  • In the TV Show One Piece, there is a character called "Ms. Groundhog Day".

Ground[edit]

If a groundhog sees it shadow that should signify that winter will end, because it is sunny — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seisho11 (talkcontribs) 23:03, 29 October 2011 (UTC)


I think this also brings up the old saying that one is "scared of his own shadow." If this does indeed releate to Groundhog Day, it would mean that the groundhog sees his own shadow, is scared of it, and runs inside to sleep another 6 weeks. In terms of weather, a clear sky in winter allows what heat there is to escape as infrared radiation. A cloudy sky blocks this cooling, leading to warmer temperatures. If the cloudiness continues, it would mean a warming trend and, thus, a shorter winter. Of course, in 2012 in Greater Cincinnati, the weather promises to be in the 50s (F). --Paul E Musselman Paulmmn (talk) 21:58, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Groundhog Day[edit]

(topic: an unsourced weather lore rhyme being a composite)

On 12:47, 3 February 2006 a certain IP known for many unsourced contributions added a "Scottish poem" (see [2]) to Groundhog Day. Six years later the poem is still in the article. Is there any reference outside Wikipedia, its online clones or book clones for such a poem? --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 17:05, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

I've found one or two of uncertain reliability, but this article from the Farmer's Almanac (of which I am only vaguely aware, but understand to be a respected publication) may be useful. However they all seem to postdate the poem's addition to our article, and only describe it as a traditional Scottish poem, with no further information on authorship or provenance. AJCham 17:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Three separate rhymes quoted in Richard Inwards Weather Lore (1893), an anthology of traditional weather wisdom, seem to have a bearing on this. The first (p. 15) goes:
On Candlemas Day
You must have half your straw and half your hay.
The second (p. 15):
If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
But if Candlemas Day bring clouds and rain,
Winter is gone and won't come again.
The third (p. 16):
On Candlemas Day, if the thorns hang a drop,
Then you are sure of a good pea crop.
The differences between these and the lines added by the IP are quite slight. Inwards sources none of his rhymes apart from saying that the last one comes from Sussex. It looks to me like Wikipedia has created one poem out of several, and everyone else has, as usual, followed us. --Antiquary (talk) 21:42, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
And just to add more, my copy of the 1873 (enlarged by Henry Ellis) edition of John Brand's Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, while not quoting any of the foregoing rhymes, quotes from the "Country Almanack for 1676", "Foul weather is no news, hail, rain and snow / Are now expected and esteem'd no woe; / Nay, 'tis an omen bad, the yeomen say, / If Phœbus shews his face the second day", and cites as an adage of "old country people in Scotland", "If Candlemas is fair and clear, / There'll be twa winters in the year." I agree, however, that the "poem" presented in our article is likely to be a conflation of multiple traditional adages and that it's probably misleading to present it as a single poem. Deor (talk) 22:30, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree, a conflation of multiple traditional adages without special reference to Scotland. I removed the poem from de:Groundhog Day (which I rewrote completely). Note the interesting quote from Westphalia there: "If the badger sees his shadow on Candlemas Day between 11 a.m. and noon, it has to stay in its burrow for another four weeks" (Adalbert Kuhn: Sagen, Gebräuche und Märchen aus Westfalen, 2. Teil: Gebräuche und Märchen, Leipzig:Brockhaus 1859, page 118) --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 01:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I think the issue of the particular poem being a composite and should be resolved is a closed issue now. So I'm spliting off my response to a separate thread on #Weather lore with animal.--Kiyoweap (talk) 17:21, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Weather lore with animal[edit]

It probably was overkill to list so many weather lore rhymes for Candlemas that didn't involve any animals, as in this version , nevertheless, there shouldn't have been a purged all.

My edit did add (or add back) the "twa winters in the year" rhyme, which was mentioned in a Groundhog Day origins column in a 19th cent. magazine.

More relevant was the German couplet about the badger (Dachs) sunbathing on Candlemas (Lichtmeß), given here by user:Concord. I used a slight variant of it, which was attached with Uwe Johnson's remark that it resembled the Groundhog Day lore.

If Kuhn's comment was added by Pp.paul.4, it seems to have been removed.--Kiyoweap (talk) 17:03, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Meteorological Accuracy[edit]

The article describes the odds by chance as 33% (presumably 33.333...), but I don't understand why it wouldn't be 50%, since there are only two possible "guesses". 184.76.225.106 (talk) 07:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Obviously some retard decided there were three possibilities: "Predicted Early Spring correctly", "Predicted Long Winter correctly", and "Predicted incorrectly". You're right, there is a 50% chance of predicting correctly. 202.0.39.163 (talk) 11:03, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
No, it's not 50%. It's not possible to say what the probability of correct prediction (due to chance) is unless we have some meteorological data for Puxotawney (or wherever...). If the probability that 2 Feb will be sunny is p and the probability that spring will be late is q, the answer is pq +(1-p)(1-q). [That's assuming the groundhog will behave as expected - for example, what if it sees its shadow and *doesn't* retreat? Some knowledge of groundhog psychology is also required...]Ericlord (talk) 19:30, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
High school math teacher... We started talking about the Groundhog today in class, and I'm concluding that the 33% reported in this article (and thus reported widely across the Internet, seeing as how Wikipedia has become the source of all knowledge) is NOT correct. There are four possibilities:
  1. groundhog sees shadow, it stays cold (an INCORRECT prediction)
  2. groundhog sees shadow, it warms up (CORRECT)
  3. groundhog sees sun, it stays cold (CORRECT)
  4. groundhog sees sun, it warms up (INCORRECT)
The probability of getting a "correct" or valid combination is 2 out of 4, or 50%. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.205.68.46 (talk) 16:14, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
This is correct. The groundhog has a 50% chance of getting it right (assuming it's actually random), not a 33% chance. The problem is determining whether or not the groundhog was right, since applying the categories "winter" and "spring" to weather data is pretty subjective. (unsigned)
absolute rubbish, where did those sources get those stats?? Complete and utter nonsense. The groundhogs have 100% accuracy. 100%, way way better than all of the meteorologists who air their self-frustrations every year at this time because they are themselves completely ignorant of the very science they profess.
Listen, in the words of the great albino rodent, the ORIGINAL Wiarton Willie I, as relayed in his long ago published autobiography cowritten with Mother Nature (no, I am NOT making this up) Willie explains, "'Spring' is a CELESTIAL event. It is not up to man or groundhog to decide when Spring happens, it is carved in the stars. But if humans wish to turn that event into a party, then I'm all for it." (I am paraphrasing as I no longer have a copy of the book, but you have that on my authority -- I was the official Minister of MythInformation Technology in the Shadow Cabinet during those last years of Willie I)
Before you assess the accuracy of any Groundhog Prognosticators, you need to read the fine print: Willie and Phil both say they will tell you only if Spring will be six weeks ... or a month and a half. And February? February is how many days long? 100% accurate, year after year. QED.
As one who had been so honoured to serve as a Minister to the Great Willie, it bugs me so much every year when the meteorologists grandstand on this for their own media schmoozing, all the while betraying to the world how a simple marmot knows so much more about the nature of Spring than they do! Teledyn (talk) 04:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
33% is unscientific nonsense. If talking about the accuracy of prediction (which the section probably is, though it's by no means certain), then the prediction is either (a) accurate or (b) not accurate. With a simple two choices, a chance selection would be accurate 50% of the time. Heenan73 (talk) 18:16, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I've tagged the sentence in the article with {{Dubious}}, with a "discuss" link that goes to this Talk page section. --82.170.113.123 (talk) 12:55, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Ah ah! Regarding the last two sentences of the Meteorological Records paragraph in that linked article, they are generalizing that for the study duration, the groundhogs were wrong two-thirds (66%) of the time. They go on to say that in this generalized case, a 33% (one-third) success rate could be attributed to random chance, hence the specific "score" from the groundhogs of 37% success is not significant. The editor of the referenced article could have done a bit better job of explaining the statistics imho. The Wikipedia article editor, I believe, was trying to paraphrase the reference, but did a poor job of explaining the reference of the "33%". I suggest we change "...time period—a value not significant compared to the 33% that could occur by chance.[113]" to "...time period.[113] As random guessing of whether spring will be late or early is 50%, the "Groundhog Method" is no better.". Actually, it's almost an inverse prediction. If we were to flip the "standard view" to say "if it's cloudy then spring will be late", then the groundhogs would have a 63% success rate -- which to me seems to make more meteorological sense. =8o) Jarod (talk) 15:09, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Is there any input to my suggested modification? Jarod (talk) 15:30, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't quite work. In the "four possibilities" example given above, it was assumed that each possibility has equal probability, and the statistics show that's not true. For Punxutawney Phil, the NOAA reports that Phil predicts an early spring 17/117 times since 1887 (discounting the years with no record) or 14.5%, meaning he predicts 6 more weeks of winter 85.5% of the time. For the Canadian cities in the cited reference, there is a wide variance in the probability of seeing sun on February 2, as low as 23% and as high as 78%.
Also from the NOAA page, from 1988-2013 Phil has predicted early spring 8 times (correct 7 and wrong 1, out of 25), and predicted long winter 17 times (correct 3 and wrong 14, out of 25), taking away the "tied average" year. In those years there were actually 20 early springs (warm March) or 80%. Therefore:
  1. Phil sees shadow, it stays cold (correct, 12%) 3/25
  2. Phil sees shadow, it warms up (incorrect, 56%) 14/25
  3. Phil doesn't see shadow, it stays cold (incorrect, 4%) 1/25
  4. Phil doesn't see shadow, it warms up (correct, 28%) 7/25
Phil predicted correctly 40% of the time. 12% + 28%, or 10/25 predictions
If you just made a perfectly random guess on February 2 each year in Punxutawney, you would have an 80% chance of being correct if you predicted early spring, and a 20% chance of being correct if you predicted late winter (groundhog forecasting is not random). You would predict each one exactly half of the time, so you would have an overall chance of being correct 50% of the time, and this would follow no matter where you are when you make your prediction. I don't know where 33% came from, and it's not given in the article but it could mean something, we just don't know, however including 50% in the article is WP:OR without a source that says so.
tl;dr: the section should read "... time period.[133] According to the StormFax ..." and there should be no mention of either 33% (because it's dubious) or 50% (because it's WP:OR). Also (off-topic) using one encyclopedia as a source for another encyclopedia is poor form. Ivanvector (talk) 17:29, 10 February 2014 (UTC)
Ivanvector, I was only suggesting a method of cleaning up the poorly worded paragraph - I didn't put the data there, it was already there. If you read the original link that was there before you deleted it, which I included in my initial paragraph here in the talk page you would have seen where the 33% came from. Also, 50% is not OR, it's the random chance that you would guess correctly in a 50/50 system - which is common knowledge. I'd like to know how you did your math in your explanation. From the website which you listed above:
  • He sees his shadow, but guesses wrong: 13 times out of 18 in which he sees his shadow
  • He sees his shadow, and guesses correctly: 4 times out of 18...
  • He sees his shadow and there is no conclusive proof: 1 time out of 18 - using the March data from 2001 - "Tied Average"
  • He doesn't see his shadow, but guesses wrong: 1 time out of 8 times he doesn't see a shadow
  • He doesn't see his shadow, and guesses correctly: 7 times out of 8...
Phill can either guess correctly or not - that is his accuracy. Either he knows the temperature prediction or he doesn't. You would have to assume if he knows what a early spring is going to be, he also knows what a late spring is going to be. You can't know heads without knowing tails. He guessed correctly 11 times out of 26, or 42%; incorrectly 14 times out of 26, or 54%; and there was no conclusive proof in one case out of 26, or 4%. There may be four scenarios (or in Phil's case five), but they ultimately have a yes/no answer - did the groundhog predict correctly or not? Also, there is only data from 1988, not 1887 as you claim, on that link you provided: "Punxsutawney Phil Vs. the U.S. National Temperature 1988–2013". Please, next time discuss these changes before making them. Jarod (talk) 01:23, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I thought I spelled my math out pretty clearly, but I added some notes above. Except for the inconclusive result which I excluded and you included as a fifth case, our results are the same, though we arrived at them differently. The 1887 dataset is also on that page but I didn't use it for my calculation, I just meant to point out that there's not a 50/50 distribution of weather results over the long term (not even close). The 1887 dataset is actually not that relevant and I didn't use it in my calculation. I did read the Canadian Encyclopedia article (and I thought it was linked elsewhere - sorry if I deleted it completely) and there was no indication how they came up with a 33% random percentage, and it had already been tagged dubious, so I just took it out. Feel free to revert.
Ok, I didn't see the weather history that way, but I agree weather is not a 50/50 distribution. Guessing is though. And you're correct about that Canadian Encyclopedia article, they didn't state how they came up with the number - it's not relevant anyway because we're not going to include that source as a reference in this article, (no need to revert, but ty). Ah ha! There it is - I found the 1887 data you were looking at. Sorry, I missed it the first three times. :( While I can't view the "Punxsutawney Groundhog Club" site from the link (my firewall), the data on the NOAA page only shows weather or not he saw his shadow - it doesn't say if he was correct in either case or not. So, using the chart on the NOAA page, and if we ignore the fifth case, we are still out on one data point somewhere. I'm seeing in four places where he saw his shadow and guessed correctly: 1996, 1998, 2002, 2008. I'm including the "slightlies" with their respective temperatures of either above or below, and only looking at the March Temperature column. Jarod (talk) 14:11, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
You're right, I counted wrong. He saw his shadow 17 times (18 including the "tie" year) and correctly predicted late spring 4 of those times. His accuracy is then 44% or 42.3% if you include the inconclusive year. Ivanvector (talk) 14:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
As for 50% being OR, I'll concede that it's also a case of WP:BLUE and won't revert if you make the change you suggested. Ivanvector (talk) 03:02, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm not quite following you on this one - won't revert what if I put in which change? Jarod (talk) 14:11, 11 February 2014 (UTC)
Just what you said above, "...time period—a value not significant compared to the 33% that could occur by chance.[113]" to "...time period.[113] As random guessing of whether spring will be late or early is 50%, the "Groundhog Method" is no better." But I suggest changing it to "...time period[113] which is not significantly better or worse than random guessing." Or something like that. It might also just be redundant, since a source is quoted later in the paragraph describing the groundhog forecasts as "on average, inaccurate". Ivanvector (talk) 14:44, 11 February 2014 (UTC)

Correction needed in History section[edit]

In the history section, the following appears: "During Winter the groundhog usually vacations on the sun for warm weather." I don't know what was intended, but clearly some other word than "vacations" is needed here. Anyone? 50.73.160.209 (talk) 15:44, 1 February 2013 (UTC)RonB 2/1/2013

It was reverted. --76.189.111.199 (talk) 16:11, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism 2013[edit]

How does one request that a page be protected re: vandalism? Some of the recent (last few days, since Feb. 2) edits have been deliberately disruptive, like the introduction edit about kickflips and the groundhog turning into a whale. Damon Killian (talk) 14:58, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

I reverted that edit and warned the editor. Since this article is about an annual event, there's always going to be some disrputive edits each February. But they're usually caught and reverted quickly. By the way, always start a thread at the bottom of the page, not the top. Thanks. --76.189.111.199 (talk) 16:11, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Globalise Required[edit]

Probably should adjust for American bias in the article. Added French name in header, but no mention of Fred la marmotte, the fact that Alaskan Marmots are the same species as Eastern Groundhogs (it’s a nomenclature issue), the fact that the entire holiday is a recent adaptation of Candlemas, etc. — Muckapedia (talk) 2e fév. 2014 14h29 (−4h)

I added mentions & links to some of the Canadian groundhogs, but I'm not sure how much more there is to say here. As far as I know and as far as my research has indicated, Groundhog Day is a primarily [North ]American celebration, so I'm not sure how much "globalizing" can be done here. There is mention of Candlemas in the "historical origins" section already. As for the species being the same, I don't see where the species is mentioned at all, but it's not really relevant here - this note would be better off in the groundhog article. I haven't removed the worldwide view tag, but I think that issue is addressed as much as possible already. Ivanvector (talk) 22:21, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
In any case this article is not so inappropriately US-centric to justify the tag. There is not a lot more to say here, per Ivanvector.- Gilliam (talk) 23:40, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Gee, does the French wiki page spend much time talking about the Americna custom? It is also funny when one looks at a UK-centric article, you have a hard time figuring out where (or generally what it is) is being discussed as there is no info up front about this being UK subject, yet every American subject article seems to start out with American such and such.— Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.51.66.32 (talk) 11:27, 28 February 2014
I was led to believe ther was more Groundhog Day activity in French Canada, since jour de la marotte is given in the lead.
I also saw in Yoder's book, that groundhog wasa called siffleur or "whistler" by the French Canadians.
But I later realized Yoder doesn't even color Quebec on his map.
I'll find and restore the event in Quebec (there may be just one) that got deleted the entire prediction table.
But in retrospect, I should probably scale down the French weather lore and maybe move it to weather lore--Kiyoweap (talk) 01:10, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Meteorological accuracy[edit]

Section needs comparitive information - how accurate are 6 week forecasts by modern meteoroligists? how accurate is say the farmer's almanac? etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.51.66.32 (talk) 11:27, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Cailleach[edit]

Howdy! I was browsing over here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cailleach#Legends and it certainly seems to be related.

Of course, this is covered in the article by discussing--though briefly--Imbolc... however, Imbolc is the festival, and involves "Saint Brigid" visiting people's houses and blessing people who made for her a bed and leave her food and drink. The actual folklore about the Divine hag gathering firewood is a small note on the Imbolc page.

I would venture that the Groundhog day page could do with more direct mention about the Celtic deity gathering firewood and the weather prediction aspect--if only a line or two. That said, I'm no expert on the topic--Celtic goddesses or groundhogs!-- and would prefer to leave this potential edit to people more comfortable with the topics than I. :)

ColbyWolf (talk) 18:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Groundhog day versus Candlemas[edit]

Should there not be a reference to the Christian feast of Candlemas in this article? The date is the same and it also involves celebration of light / end of winter. There must be a connection somewhere.

Franciscus montmartinensis (talk) 18:36, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

There is already a reference to Candlemas in the article. There is also a reference to Imbolc, and that article says that in some cultures Imbolc is referred to as Candlemas. However from that article it appears to be mere coincidence that Imbolc and Candlemas are celebrated on the same day.---Ehrenkater (talk) 18:48, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Discuss: Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008[edit]

Bit of a tussle yesterday, so would it be wise to forge a new consensus on this? Nearly 2/3rds of the article was this gargantuan table in the middle, a mass of trivia about Fufu, Fred, Malverne, Chuckles, T-Boy and on and on. Perhaps a paragraph discussing other Groundhog Day observances around the country with these characters would be fine, but a hundred listings of them AND their "predictions" was just absurd. TheValeyard (talk) 14:10, 5 February 2017 (UTC)

I agree. The chart overloads the article with a dump of mere "data", and I put that in quotes because it's a collection of factoids that few people would take seriously (like a tally of the points awarded on Whose Line Is It Anyway?). It damages Wikipedia's reputation by association. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 15:40, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
Could put it up for a vote, as it would probably be poor protocol to unilaterally remove such a large section of an article, one that was apparently fourteen years in the making (a review of this article's history reveals that compiling a groundhog prediction list began in 2004, and the table itself was generated in 2007 to further contain that info). On the pro side, the table generally has good reference citations (every last unsourced groundhog prediction was removed long ago), and the listed predictions actually appear kind of relevant to this particular article, largely because the accuracy of the groundhogs' forecasts has been challenged and called into question; the info is laid out where it can be compared and verified with actual recorded meteorological data, and trends in the predictions made over the last decade can also be discerned. On the con side, of course, is the issue that it is a large, and growing, table. A compromise might be to take suggestions on how to make it a more compact. --Theduder3210 (talk) 20:38, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
The existence of citations is not a persuasive argument for keeping the list. I could cite every death on February 2 from my local newspaper for that date's article, but that wouldn't be noteworthy information either. This isn't even "data", because it lacks any representative sampling: it's just selected anecdotes that happened to make the newspaper and happened to get added to WP. Presenting it as if it was scientifically meaningful is misleading. If someone wishes to collect scientifically useful data, analyze it, and publish the results in a reliable source, Wikipedia could and should cite that information. But at best this is literally original research by Wikipedians. And at worst, it's simple trivia. No amount of compactness can overcome the problem with the content itself. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 21:53, 5 February 2017 (UTC)
As Theduder3210 stated, the section "Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008" or something similar has been a part of Groundhog Day since 2004. That's more than 12 years. Many editors have contributed to this section during those 12 years.
No editor has ever removed "Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008" until yesterday. That is evidence that there has long been a consensus among editors that the information within the section is not trivial. Further, the table in the section contains some rather enlightening pieces of information, such as that some so-called "groundhogs" are nutrias, hedgehogs, stuffed animals, etc. This is no more trivial than is Groundhog Day itself. Both are amusing.
In addition, it is of considerable interest that a rather large and perhaps growing number of communities now have their own groundhogs. Removing this section is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Citing newspaper articles is not "Original Research". Choosing among such citations is always selective. Choosing those articles that are significant is part of the Wikipedia editing process.
Comparisons of predictions over extended periods of time can permit readers to draw conclusions that Wikipedia will not report because they are "Original Research". For example, the table shows that Washington, D.C.'s stuffed "Potomac Phil" has always made the same prediction as has the better-known Punxsutawney Phil, but has invariably added a political prediction.
When a Wikipedia article becomes too long, editors often place some of the article's sections in separate articles that are subordinate to the main article. This reduces the length of the main article and makes it more readable. This may become necessary for Groundhog Day in the future. However, at this time, Groundhog Day is not excessively long, even when the article contains "Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008". Someone should therefore restore "Predictions of various groundhogs since 2008" to Groundhog Day. Corker1 (talk) 19:27, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
"This is what we've always done", is a weak argument. Maybe no one has removed it before, but that has been suggested over the years, and the ongoing accumulation of this "amusing" cruft has finally gotten so deep as to prompt several editors to remove it recently. Yes, selecting articles to cite is part of the Wikipedia process... but sometimes that means selecting none of them, because none of them are significant. It bears repeating: this is garbage "research". (For example, noting that cities 170 miles apart from each other tend to have similar weather is not particularly insightful.) This arbitrary collection of anecdotes has no scientific value, and is better suited to Fortean Times than an encyclopedia. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 20:01, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Who in this discussion has noted that "cities 170 miles apart from each other tend to have similar weather"? I stated that, according to the table, Washington, D.C.'s "Potomac Phil" has always made the same prediction as has "Punxsutawney Phil". This has nothing to do with weather.
As I stated, "Potomac Phil" is a stuffed groundhog. "Punxsutawney Phil" lives.
According to the cited reports, "Punxsutawney Phil" predicts at sunrise. "Potomac Phil"'s prediction comes later.
Can you see the "insight"? Or is it just "cruft"?
And: Who has suggested the table's removal "over the years"? The "Clean Up Predictions table" section of this Talk page shows that, before yesterday, three editors have suggested modifications to the table over the years (most recently in 2013). Until 4 February 2017, nobody has suggested that the table be removed. Corker1 (talk) 00:30, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
The "predictions" are simple accidents of weather; that should be obvious. And no: there are no insights to be found in this pile of pseudoscience fantasy. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 16:00, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Potomac Phil's predictions are not accidents of weather; that should be obvious. The creature is stuffed. He can't see his shadow. He can't even tell if its snowing or if he is in the middle of a tornado. Corker1 (talk) 19:44, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
So it's just bullshit. All the more reason to purge this nonsense. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 20:10, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Noting that there are non-Punxatawney rodents that make predictions would be relevant to Groundhog Day and interesting to a reader. Noting that Marmot Billy-Bob in East Toad Strangle, Alabama saw his shadow in 2011 is the very epitome of minutiae. A list of this magnitude does not belong in the article, especially when it is over 2/3rds of the article. Absurd. TheValeyard (talk) 01:08, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Without a list of predictions going back several years, readers could not learn that the predictions of a deceased stuffed rodent (Potomac Phil) have always been the same as those of Punxatawney Phil, who makes his predictions earlier in the day. An editor cannot place that information in Wikipedia, as it would be "Original Research". That is one of the reasons that the table is of interest, even though the table takes up a substantial proportion of the article's space. Corker1 (talk) 20:03, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You are conflating separate sources to draw your own conclusions about notability. That sounds like the synthesis rule. TheValeyard (talk) 13:17, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The synthesis rule is within Wikipedia's No original research article. That is the article that I intended to cite when I wrote "Original Research" in my comment.
My point was that readers can draw their own conclusions by comparing information from separate sources that are within a Wikipedia article. However, editors cannot place such conclusions in Wikipedia because the conclusions would be original research (i.e., synthesis).
When editors remove information and its sources (such as the information and cited references in the past predictions table) from Wikipedia, they prevent readers from drawing any such conclusions. That is one of the reasons that editors should not remove from Wikipedia information that is supported by reliable sources. Although individual pieces of information in a Wikipedia article may appear to be trivial, a reader's own synthesis of several such pieces can produce non-trivial conclusions. The reader may eventually publish these conclusions.
The past predictions table can be relocated to the bottom of the text of Groundhog Day, immediately above the reference list. This will enable readers to read the remainder of the article without having to first scroll through the predictions table. Would you find that to be satisfactory? Corker1 (talk) 18:40, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
WP:NOTEVERYTHING (emphasis added): "Information should not be included in this encyclopedia solely because it is true or useful. A Wikipedia article should not be a complete exposition of all possible details, but a summary of accepted knowledge regarding its subject." These trivia samples don't qualify as that. Furthermore, the plural of "trivia" is not "information". It is "a lot of trivia". This table is an invalid sample from which to draw any conclusions: GIGO. By removing it, we are discouraging people who don't understand sampling from committing the error of trying to do that. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 19:59, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
You do realize that the...giant quotation marks here..."prediction" made by the rodent in question is absolutely meaningless, right? That seeing or not seeing a shadow has no bearing no the actual weather? People forget what the "prediction" was 5 minutes after it is made, as they carry on with the day's celebrations. What Punxatawney Phil "predicted" in 2016 is already ephemeral errata; doubly so as one one goes down the list of less important rodents. TheValeyard (talk) 01:42, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

What is the reason for listing other Groundhog Day celebrations, but deleting the references (documented) to the Sun Prairie, WI celebration that has been in existence since 1948? What are the criteria for naming some locations, but not others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 165.189.255.44 (talk) 18:06, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

I can't speak for everything that is in the article, only for what I removed. I took out the Sun Prairie celebration because it A) does not have its own article and B) the only source offered is local coverage.
If another event has an existing Wikipedia article and it is relevant to another article, I generally see a place for it to be either summarized briefly in the article or at least given a "See also" link. Failing that, I'm looking for significant coverage in independent reliable sources directly tying it to the subject of the article.
The Sun Prairie celebration doesn't have an article. That leaves the coverage which is at a level such that including it would mean that every town's Fourth of July picnic and fireworks show would be listed at Independence Day (United States) based on their local newspaper's coverage. Punxsutawney Phil, in contrast, cites sources from Seattle, WA to the UK (in addition to more local coverage in Hanover, PA and such). - SummerPhDv2.0 19:43, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

What happened to the table of all the different groundhogs?? Can't you at least make a separate article with the table rather than remove it completely? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 166.20.224.10 (talk) 20:53, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Discuss: Incidents[edit]

While we're at it, two editors[3][4] have expressed the opinion (by removing it, only to be restored by Corker1) that the "Incidents" section is also unencyclopedic. I agree with them. It's another collection of anecdotal clippings of no lasting importance, referring to recent 'hog-bites-man stories in the "news" media. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 21:03, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

If Groundhog Day lacked both the past predictions table and the "Incidents" section, the article would be brief, concise, and not worth reading. Corker1 (talk) 23:13, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
You're right about two out of three. Wikipedia articles are not for your amusement. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 23:15, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Any input from other editors? So far we have three who don't think it belongs here, and one who does. -Jason A. Quest (talk) 01:20, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Paul the Octopus[edit]

Glasgowuc3m, you shouldn't be adding other prognostications like Paul the Octopus here just because you think believe it's similar enough. You have to be able to back it with some scholar/expert on Ground Hog Day saying it is relevant (and preferably on what grounds). If nobody provides the requisite WS:RS (reliable source) it will be deemed WP:OR (original research) and will be subject to removal.

As there already is an Paul the Octopus that exist, I suggest you move your contributions to that page and source it properly. --Kiyoweap (talk) 00:32, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

I axed the section entirely. This article is about Groundhog Day and some similar weather-predicting creatures, not a general compendium of animal prognosticators. TheValeyard (talk) 14:52, 23 December 2017 (UTC)

Morris diary[edit]

Re the oldest Morris diary entry which mentions "Groundhog day", the entry for February 2, 1840 and February 4, 1841 reads differently so I'm accepting the 1840 date.

This brings me to the fact the mention of the Feb 4 1841 entry had existed since a long time ago (18:49, 2 February 2006) but I didnt see it because it had been deleted 3 days before. Such removal shouldnt be done unilaterally and should be discussed.--Kiyoweap (talk) 02:52, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Second Winter[edit]

I am also removing the pharase "Second Winter" (used in the Time magazine article) since this is not really a term with any history that has been used in commentary about the Ground Hog (googling shows that usage is new). I believe it is a paraphrase of the "two winters", but that phrase appears in a couplet/distich that does not refer to an animal. --Kiyoweap (talk) 04:56, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Other "Groundhog Day" animals[edit]

Across the U.S., there are several places where groundhogs, badgers, beavers, and the like are either not common or not plentiful and the people there have used more common/plentiful local animals to do on Groundhog Day what Punxsutawney Phil does.

For example, in Arizona there's Agua Fria Freddie, a rattlesnake who prognosticates the opposite of Phil. If Freddie sees his shadow, Spring is just around the corner, but if there is no shadow, then there'll be six more weeks of Winter. According to some, Freddie has a 98.8% accuracy rate![1]

In short, why not include a section of the other animals 'used' on Groundhog Day to predict either the continuation of winter or the coming of spring?

To me, the prognostication - - - regardless of the animal involved - - - is a major part of the article/entry.

Thoughts ? 2600:8800:786:A300:C23F:D5FF:FEC4:D51D (talk) 22:41, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

The challenge would be in finding third-party reliable sources for the material. For example, in the Seattle area, for years now a morning TV news program (KCPQ - Q13, a Fox affiliate station) has been promoting the alternative of Rufus the Mountain Beaver (a taxidermied animal they borrow from Seattle’s Discovery Park Environmental Learning Center) - arguing that groundhogs are not native to the Pacific Northwest. There are sources on their website, which would normally be considered a reliable source ... but in this case, it wouldn't be a third-party source; and I'm not aware of any other news coverage by other reliable sources. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 00:55, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Problematic IPC section[edit]

I have just tagged the "In popular culture section". This is an indiscriminate list of trivial WP:IPC uses.

This section does not provide sourced discussion of the topic's impact on popular culture. Instead, it is a trivial list of occurrences of Groundhog Day in popular culture, mostly cartoons.

The list is indiscriminate: without discussion in reliable sources, it is an apparently random selection of pop culture items that include Groundhog Day. It is neither exhaustive (listing every occurrence, which is likely impossible) nor encyclopedicly discriminate (selecting which occurrences to include in an encyclopedic manor.

There is nothing to salvage here. - SummerPhDv2.0 23:38, 22 February 2018 (UTC)

There is nothing to salvage here? Have you heard of the film Groundhog Day? I came to the page to read the In popular culture section, and found none. Went back into the history, dug it up after it was removed without discussion, edited it to cut the fat, and added it back. Some of the data is sourced, so since you tagged it with a 'remove unsourced material' tag, and then removed sourced material, maybe we can put at least that back? Plus, Groundhog Day. Randy Kryn (talk) 00:21, 23 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I am familiar with the film. The lead section currently mentions it. The IPC section... also mentioned it.[5] The holiday is certainly part of the movie and we mention that. Saying that twice is not helpful and doesn't really justify an IPC section.
Per WP:IPC (and the general consensus) an indiscriminate list of trivial uses is not encyclopedic.
How is it indiscriminate? There is on objective, sourced reason for choosing these uses. Listing absolutely every use would not be indiscriminate, but it doesn't seem to be possible to list every TV show, movie, play, novel, song, opera, speech, etc. that includes a mention. On the other side, we do not have a reliable source discussing uses of Groundhog Day as a metaphor for change in Bill Murray's movies (or whatever). Instead, the list is a random or POV list: whatever examples some random Wikipedia editor added are included.
How are they trivial? They are examples where Groundhog Day is included. The pop culture examples do not seem to have had an effect on the popular conception of Groundhog Day, and Groundhog Day does not seem to have had a particular impact on the individual pop culture items... with one exception.
The exception is the film. IF we can find reliable sources discussing how the film changed the holiday in some meaningful way, that information would be reasonable to include. I would not be at all surprised if we could find sources saying (and I'm completely making this up) something like "Observances of the holiday were dwindling, with Punxsutawney's brief annual tourist boom was down 50% over the previous decade until the 1993 film..."
As it stands now, the claim that the film spread the holiday is unsourced speculation. - SummerPhDv2.0 01:44, 23 February 2018 (UTC)