Like every February 2, thousands of people have an appointment with the Groundhog Phil for him Groundhog Day. It is one of the most popular animals in the country, which stars in a tradition known worldwide.
This is largely due to the movie ‘Caught in time‘, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowellwhich staged this American tradition and made it known throughout the world.
What Groundhog Day means and what the tradition is like
Thus, February 2 brings together thousands of people in Gobbler’s Knobthe hill outside the borough of Punxsutawneylocated in the state of Pennsylvania. Here, the masters of ceremonies, wearing their traditional top hats, take out Phil the groundhog and raise him into the air to find out their winter forecast.
The behavior of the animal determines How long will winter last and how long will it take for spring to arrive?. According to tradition, the groundhog is taken out of its lair and his shadow is seen: If you see it, it will mean that there is still a long winter ahead. If you don’t see it, it won’t take long for spring to arrive.
Legend says that, when there is enough sun for the animal to see its shadow, there are six weeks left to put an end to winter. However, according to Stormfax, a website specialized in tradition, Phil’s predictions have only been correct 39% of the time.
Why Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2
In the 5th century, the Celts believed that animals had certain supernatural powers between the winter equinox and the spring solstice40 days after Christmas and 40 days before Easter, approximately February 2nd.
In fact, in the Christian liturgical calendar, February 2 is the Festival of Candelaria or light. Many European proverbs say that if there is a sunny day on this date, a long winter should be expected.
According to German and French tradition, when groundhogs and bears emerged from their winter dens too early, They were afraid of their own shadow and went back to themselves for four or six weeks.. Hence the importance in tradition of the groundhog not seeing its shadow to predict that there is little winter left ahead.