Another year, another Groundhog Day. This year, Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction.
“Glad tidings on this Groundhog Day. An early spring is on the way,” a proclamation was read out at Gobbler’s Knob, exciting a crowd of thousands of people who waited hours to see the famous rodent.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on average, Phil has gotten his predictions right 30% of the time over the past ten years.
Groundhog’s Place in Pop Culture
The holiday is referenced in the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray, called Groundhog Day. Apparently, the movie created a resurgence of interest in the holiday after it came out. The Associated Press reported that event organizers voiced concern about rowdy crowds drinking all night, people climbing trees and others stripping to their underwear. Alcohol is now prohibited at Gobbler’s Knob, Phil’s spot some 80 miles (123 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.
Groundhog Day Tradition
Many of us know the tradition of the groundhog emerging from hibernation, coming out of his den, and predicting whether winter will carry on longer. If the groundhog sees his shadow, it will return to hibernation and cold weather will persist for another few weeks. If not, warm weather is right around the corner.
Punxsutawney Phil is one of the most well-known examples of forecasting animals. According to the Punxsutawney Phil website, it has been a tradition since 1887. There are also many other groundhogs, and even other animals, who are consulted for a sign of when winter will be over. Some of these other rodents include Potomac Phil in Washington D.C., Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, and Staten Island Chuck in New York, among others.
The Associated Press reported that there have been weather-predicting groundhogs in at least 28 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and less formal celebrations far and wide.
Take a look at some of the other states’ animal predictions on Groundhog Day below.