Groundhog Day and Candlemas-USA

You might be wondering why I posted this. If you either read to the point of how Groundhog day got started or just scroll down to it you will see it tied into Candlemas/Imbolc.

Groundhog sees his shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter

There will be six more weeks of winter, according to America’s favorite groundhog.

Every Feb. 2, the marmot known as Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow in western Pennsylvania and looks to the ground for his shadow — marking the annual celebration of Groundhog Day.

A local morning weather story, an excuse to relive the comedic Bill Murray cinematic classic, a legendary way to get your predictions around the start of spring — Groundhog Day is all of these things and more. While many look forward to and enjoy Phil’s February appearance, others are unsure what the prediction fuss is all about.

Get the information you need on Groundhog Day with answers to these frequently asked questions:

When did Groundhog Day start?

Groundhog Day stems from an ancient European celebration of Candlemas. A midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox, legend has it that fair weather on Candlemas predicated a stormy and cold second half to winter. The celebration transformed in America, where Pennsylvania Germans incorporated the groundhog into the meteorologic prognostication

Where did Punxsutawney Phil get his name?

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, after which Phil is named.

How many Punxsutawney Phil groundhogs have there been?

While the lifespan of a groundhog is roughly six years, those in the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle lightheartedly claim there is only one Phil, and all other groundhogs are impostors. It is also claimed that one groundhog has lived since 1886 — sustained by a drink of “groundhog punch.” It is unknown how many groundhogs have actually played Phil.

What happens if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow?

If the groundhog sees his shadow, legend has it there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, this implies an early spring.

How many times has Punxsutawney Phil seen his shadow?

Since 1887, the groundhog has seen his shadow 102 times — forecasting a longer winter — and not seen it 18 times.

How “right” is Phil?

Since 1988, the groundhog correctly predicted the weather 14 times and incorrectly 15 times. This is determined based on cross-referencing Phil’s prediction with the national average temperature for the remainder of February.

RELATED: Groundhog Day through the years

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