What Does Groundhog Day Mean?

Groundhog Day comes every February but few of us know what the day actually means. Groundhog Day originates from astrology, not from February’s favourite furry creatures. The holiday’s tied to Earth moving around the sun. It falls approximately halfway between the solstice and the equinox.

What are the rules of Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is a US and Canadian tradition. This year, it falls on February 2nd. Although its originations are in astrology, it’s become more seasonal and cartoonish in recent years. Communities across Canada will go outside this year, catch some of the cold, and bask in the winter weather.

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The rules of Groundhog Day center around the groundhog. This creature is believed to be a predictor of whether the winter will turn to spring or not. If the groundhog comes out and it’s a sunny day, he’ll see his shadow. If he sees his shadow, that means six more weeks of winter. A cloudy Groundhog Day however means an early spring. Naturally, weather isn’t universal countrywide which makes it very much a local tradition.

Who is Punxsutawney Phil?

Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous shadow-chasing groundhog. He lives in western Pennsylvania. Since 1887, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club have had an annual Groundhog Day celebration where they bring out Punxsutawney Phil to see his shadow or not.

How accurate is Groundhog Dog?

As it turns out, Groundhog Day isn’t even close to accurate. An analysis by the US National Climatic Data Center found that predictions on Groundhog Day are trivial, boasting no ability to show the weather ahead. Although this is disappointing to us fans of the big day, it’s admittedly hardly unexpected.

What is the astrology behind Groundhog Day?

Like we said, Groundhog Day is the halfway point between the December solstice and March equinox. It is a cross-quarter day and usually has a number of celebrations that take place throughout this period.

Because of February 2 being an astrological day, you will find Groundhog Day exists in many cultures. Celtic, Pagan, Christian, and other traditions have some version of a celebration on this day. They don’t always use a groundhog however these traditions rely on shadows or weather conditions to predict the future. How we arrived at having a groundhog as North America’s mascot traces back to the late 1800s in Pennsylvania, perhaps as an attempt to make the celebration more family-friendly and inviting to multiple cultures.

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Where will you be this Groundhog Day? No matter the weather, try to make it outside and see if your shadow’s out. While rooted in astronomy and seasoned with non-secular tradition, Groundhog Day remains a cute, contemporary holiday all of us can partake in irrespective of culture or religion.

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