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Three ways to celebrate Groundhog Day

Funcoast • Feb 2, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Are the dark, cold days of winter getting you down? Then celebrate Groundhog Day and begin the countdown to spring! Your psychic furry friend Phil (or not so psychic, as he’s only been correct about 39% of the time, according to the National Climatic Data Center) came out of hibernation today. Since Phil didn't see his shadow, we're apparently in for an early spring — but from the look of things outside, we think that might be a little off.

If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, here’s what it’s all about: if groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we’re stuck with six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, we luck out with an early spring. As noted earlier, the accuracy is debatable — but still, it gives us something to celebrate!

1.) Wear a black top hat all day. This is the official hat of Punxsutawney Phil, and wearing one that’s made with a super-glossy sheen is preferred.

Find one at your local party supply store.


2.) Become a member of the Official Groundhog Day Club. Okay, so this option might be strictly for Phil devotees, but it’s something to add to the resume…right? It’s run by the Punxsutawney Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania. Upon signing up, you’ll receive an official membership card after completing an application. Being a member gives you full access to your local chapter’s events, and you’ll also get a newsletter. Go to groundhog.org to sign up.

3.) Have a Groundhog Day movie marathon. This classic, starring Bill Murray, is a year-round favorite.

Four fun facts you probably didn't know about Groundhog Day

1.) Punxsutawney is located in Western Pennsylvania, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.


2.) The groundhog’s full name is actually “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.” It was proclaimed by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in 1887, the same year they declared Punxsutawney to be the weather capital of the world.

3.) Groundhog Day is celebrated on Feb. 2 because it’s a “cross-quarter” day, about halfway between the winter solstice in December and the vernal equinox in March, and it’s celebrated in some cultures as the midpoint of winter. Most groundhogs end their hibernation around the second week of February.

4.) For most of the year, Phil lives in a climate-controlled home at the Punxsutawney Library. He’s taken to Gobbler’s Knob and placed in a heated burrow underneath a simulated tree stump on stage before being pulled out at 7:25 a.m. to make his prediction.

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