Celebrating Groundhog Day


Rumeysa Bayram

Grassy Hill: Picture of the grass, where the groundhog would come out to predict the weather. Photo Courtesy: Rumeysa Bayram, February 2, 2022.

        Traditionally, Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2 each year. It is a day when the groundhog comes out of its burrow to supposedly determine whether there will be an early spring.

         Groundhog Day has been celebrated since 1887, originating in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It has been rooted in the ancient “Christian tradition of Candlemas.”

        According to History.com, “…when [Candlemas] clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be.”

        Later on the Germans decided to extend this tradition by choosing an animal, at the time a hedgehog, meant to predict the weather. As time went on and this custom was brought to America, the hedgehog was changed to a groundhog, as they were plentiful in the Keystone State area.

       Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is known for having the largest celebration for Groundhog Day. Visitors from all over the world come to this small town to come see the groundhog named Phil. Phil’s predictions have had the accuracy somewhere between 35% and 41%.

       The groundhog tends to come out of its burrow around 7 a.m.. If it sees its  own shadow it will get scared and go back into its burrow, which allegedly means there will be six more weeks of the winter season. If the groundhog does not see its shadow, it means there will be an early spring season.

       People around the world take this day to play games, make fun crafts, give speeches, and more. Some might also take the time to predict the weather for themselves.

      Sophomore Joselyne Cruz says, “Every single year the day before groundhog day my family and I make a bet on whether or not we think the groundhog will see its shadow… the morning of, we all watch the news together and see the results and whoever was right wins the bet and earns money.”

       Others expressed that they did fun crafts in elementary school with their classmates and teachers.

       Sophomore Alana Flinlayson says, “…in the past we also did stuff in elementary school for Groundhog Day.”

      Groundhog Day can be watched live on the internet or even in person. Some have expressed their interest in watching the day in-person, like Mr. Thomas, seventh grade integrated science teacher and Science Curriculum Leader at East Shore Middle School.

        Thomas shares that he too would like to see the groundhog. 

         He says, “…Going to see it happen is on my bucket list just for the novelty.”