Friday, February 11, 2011

Groundhog Day

Every Year on February 2nd, a large crowd of hundreds of people gather early on this historically cold morning at a place called Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney. They meet here in hopes to see a groundhog make an extraordinary prediction. The groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his hole, with the help of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, and looks for his shadow. It is believed that if Phil sees his shadow, he predicts that there will be six more weeks of bad weather. If Phil does NOT see his shadow, he predicts that spring will come six weeks early.

The Legend of Punxsutawney Phil is actually tied to another very old superstition from Early Europe called Candle’s Day. On February 2nd, priests would give out candles to people tell them to light it. If the next few days there were bad weather, this winter would be a long one. If the weather was good in the next few days, winter would end soon and there would be an early spring. It is believed that as time went on, people started to associate this belief with various animals seeing there shadows and making their own predictions. This is how Punxsutawney Phil was born.

How accurate is this groundhog with predicting weather patterns? Is Phil better than a TV weatherman? The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club believes that Phil is 100% accurate. Data from Stormfax Almanac from 1887 to 2010, however, says that Phil is only right about 39% of the time. If he were getting graded, Phil would be failing. His average may go up in the Future. This year, Punxsutawney Phil predicted that spring will be here in six weeks; let’s see if he’s right.


Video Link of Punxsutawney Phil’s 2011 Prediction:

1 comment:

  1. It is actually interesting to hear about this because I have spent years trying to figure out why, we listen to a groundhog. For everything else we use ipods, ipads, laptops, whatever we can to predict the "future" per say. So I didnt understand why we have a whole day dedicated to watching a groundhog come up out of the ground and see his shadow or not. Did you know that out of the 115 times we have listened to "Phil" he has only predicted early spring 15 times. Its funny that, that fact means he's only right 39% of the time. I sure hope he is right this time. Harsh winter hopefully equals great spring. Thank you for bringing this up. Very interesting. Though I still dont understand why after all this technology, everything we have now, we watch a groundhog for when spring will come. Weird, dont you think?