Tomorrow morning rings in one of the strangest North American celebrations around; the celebration of a large weather predicting rodent! Though Groundhog Day is celebrated throughout North America with Groundhogs ranging from Wiarton Willie (Ontario) to Smithlake Jake (Alabama), the most popular celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day has been held in Pennsylvania since 1886 and their beloved mascot, Punxsutawney Phil, was even the subject of the popular 1993 film featuring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.
On February 2nd each year, crowds large as 40,000 arrive in Punxsutawney to watch Phil come out of his burrow and look for his shadow. If he sees it then there will be 6 more weeks of winter (boo!)
Old Punxsutawney Phil has been playing the shadow game for over 125 years. Yep, he’s pretty old for a Groundhog and (according to the official website) gets his immortality from drinking the “elixir of life,” which keeps him going for a good 7 years before he has to have another sip. He also communicates his predictions to the Groundhog Club President in Groundhogese, the groundhog language, which the President then kindly translates for the rest of us.
If you’re in an area where there is no groundhog to gawk at, worry not! You can watch the Pennsylvania celebration via webcast.
When: February 2nd, Annually
Where: Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA
- Groundhog Day 2013: What are we all doing in Punxsutawney? (pennlive.com)
- Watch Groundhog Day 2013 Live Stream: Will Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow? (sfluxe.com)