Groundhog Day Facts:

Groundhog Day is held each year on Feb. 2, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  You might be wondering how a groundhog landed the job of predicting the weather. If you’re unfamiliar with the tradition, it goes like this: If the 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.

The tradition dates back to 1887, and though the origins are unclear, it is said to have originated from ancient European weather lore in which a badger or sacred bear predicts the weather, rather than a groundhog. It also has religious origins, as it shares similarities with Candlemas Day, which is also on Feb. 2. According to an old English song, “If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come, Winter, have another flight.”

States without groundhogs are taking matters into their own hands by choosing their own weather predictor. Texas, for example, chose its state mammal, an armadillo, to predict the weather for their first “Armadillo Day.” Only time will tell whether the groundhog or the armadillo is the true weather predictor.

Here are three facts you probably didn’t know about Groundhog Day:

1. Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has not seen it 15 times, and nine years are unaccounted for.

2.
The National Climatic Data Center reportedly stated that Phil’s prediction’s have been correct 39 percent of the time. This number is in conflict with Phil’s club, which states he’s been right 100 percent of the time.

3. In the years following the release of Groundhog Day, a 1993 film starring Bill Murray, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the ceremony takes place.

VIDEO CLIPS:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/groundhog/

http://www.hoghaven.com/watch.html

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