Groundhog Day is Tomorrow
In case you can’t keep it straight: if the sun shines and Puxatawney Phil sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter. But here are some other things about Groundhog Day you may not have known.
They’ve been celebrating Groundhog Day in Puxatawney, PA, since 1886. It’s based on an old Scottish rhyme and German tradition.
The whole Gobbler’s Knob thing got started in Pennsylvania when a bunch of “Groundhog Hunters” calling themselves the “Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” started the whole proclamation thing, headed up by the town’s newspaper editor, who reported it faithfully every year.
These days, Punxatawney Phil lives in a climate-controlled burrow at the Punxsutawney Library, and is pulled out each Groundhog Day at 7:25 am (Eastern) to make his prediction.
Groundhogs drink no water. It’s the only way they can make it through the winter without having to go to the bathroom. And here’s more useless Groundhog Trivia in case you want to impress your friends (lol):
1. Hunger is what determines a Groundhogs behavior. Weather has nothing to do with it.
2. The original animal in German folklore is a Badger. But if we called it “Badger Day” it just wouldn’t be the same.
3. Scientific studies over a 60 year period show that the Groundhogs accuracy in forecasting the onset of Spring is only 28%. Oddly enough, the National Weather Service only has a 31 percent accuracy.
4. A Groundhog is the same thing as a woodchuck. It’s the largest member of the squirrel family and is sometimes called a “whistle pig”
5. Groundhogs actually are true hibernators, which means they enter their burrow in the late fall and sleep until spring.
6. A Groundhog removes about 700 pounds of dirt from the ground to dig a burrow, which can have several entrances and go on for as long as 45 feet.
7. And sometimes if you’re lucky a groundhog will adopt your yard and eat all of your garden veggies! Or, you can be like my mom and adopt it right back. She actually shops for lettuce and carrots and provides ‘her’ Groundhog a whole meal every day as soon as it pops up from hibernating. To each his (or her) own!
(Courtesy of Nickelodeon magazine)