America's Weirdest Tradition: Groundhog Day!

Leave your gloves, hats, and scarves on ladies and gentlemen, groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter. 

What is Goundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is a 131 year old American tradition that is celebrated yearly on February 2nd and is considered to be the most watched weather forcast day of the year. According to tradition, if the weather is cloudy as the groundhog comes out of its burrow then spring is just around the corner, however, if it is sunny and the groundhog sees its shadow, it retreats back to hibernation and winter will continue for another six weeks. 

Who is Phil?

Punxsutawney Phil is the name of the groundhogs that live in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania where the holiday originated from. 

History of Groundhog Day? 

Groundhog Day is perceived as one of America's weirdest traditions, however, the holiday is based on a long history that started on February 2nd, 1886. The holiday roots back to when the German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania and brought along the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far the will the snow swirl in May. For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day, so far will the sun shine before May." Germans originally watched a badger for the shadow, but when there were no signs of native badgers in the US, they replaced the badger with the groundhog and continued the tradition to this day. 

So as the groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter for 2017, we at WLSA are going to embrace every moment of it while we look forward to our WLSA & CAN Conference in the hot summer days of July. If you are a professional in the field of education and interested in our conference, click here to learn more.