Every February 2, tens of thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to celebrate Groundhog Day. On this date the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil - that seer of seers and prognosticator of prognosticators - emerges from his burrow in a hollowed out tree stump at Gobbler‘s Knob. Legend has it that if he sees his shadow, the there will be six more weeks of winter. And if not, then there will be an early spring.
Phil’s forecasts are spoken in Groundhogese to a member of the "Inner Circle." This group of Puxatany notables not only translates Phil’s forecast into English, they are also responsible for the care and feeding of Phil throughout the rest of the year. This tradition is said to have started in 1887, and has grown in popularity in the years since. The groundhog‘s popularity was given an even greater boost following the release of the 1993 Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day.
The origins of Groundhog Day come from the Christian celebration of Candlemas. This day, corresponding to 40 days after Christmas, celebrates the day the infant Jesus was presented in the Jewish Temple. February 2 also marks the midpoint of the coldest temperatures in the northern hemisphere. Historically a rule of thumb stated that in order to have enough food for livestock, farmers should have half of their stored provisions remaining on Candlemas day.
Little to none of this remains in the modern day celebration of Groundhog Day. What follows is a collection of forecasts from Groundhog Days of years past, according to Punxsutawney's official Groundhog Club.
|1943||No Appearance by Groundhog|