Each year, on the 2nd of February, people appear from their houses around sunrise to look at a fluffy furry rodent forecasting the upcoming weather. But why do people celebrate Groundhog Day? It seems a bit silly to rely on the marmot’s advice, especially considering that this rodent is actually wrong about half of the time.
There is no exact information about why people started to celebrate this day, but the origins of this celebration are traced to several various beginnings. The traditional Celtic festival of Imbolc that is held on the 1sf of February relies on animals that hibernate to forecast the end of the winter based on the same Groundhog’s shadow lore. According to the legend, on a sunny Imbolc, a smart fairy used the bright sun to collect the firewood for the forthcoming six weeks of winter, but if the weather was cloudy, it stayed to sleep.
In Germany, there is a celebration of Candlemas which is another ancestor of the Pennsylvania tradition of Groundhog Day celebration. It is a big festival of the Eastern Orthodox Church that relies on the weather of the day to forecast spring’s arrival.
Here are several things you probably did not even know about the Groundhog Day.
Groundhog Look Out of the Dens in Search of Mates
In the nature, these furry rodents peek out of the dens in the beginning of February to ensure their mates have not wandered off whilst they were sleeping the whole winter. It is like “are you up?” message in the animal world, after which they go back to sleep nearly for a month.
People Ate the First Groundhog Straight after the Ceremony
No, it is not a joke. Spectators actually ate these cute rodents after the first Punxsutawney observation. But it must be mentioned that he predicted several more weeks of winter, so it was his fault.
No One Knows How Many Groundhogs Have Played Phil
According to the official word from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, there is just one Phil. But how could this animal live for more than a hundred years? Not so sure…
Phil Lives Forever due to the Strawberry Smoothie
Each summer, people who live in Punxsutawney share with Phil a picnic called “throw Phil a picnic” that is made of vegetables, fruit and strawberry drink. It is believed that this smoothie provides Phil with extra six years of life, which is an average lifespan of these rodents.
Phil’s Home Is Better Than Yours
Phil does not even have to hibernate because he lives in the superior climate controlled den that is attached to the Punxsutawney Public Library.
During 30 Years, Phil Was Wrong More than Half of Time
This marmot is correct in just 45% of cases, and he still cannot get to a 100% winning percentage. You’d rather use the Internet to look up the forecast.