It’s Groundhog Day Again


"Groundhog Day" by Vicki's Nature is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A groundhog searches for its shadow. Unfortunately, this groundhog has no authority, as it isn’t Punxsutawney Phil.

Feb. 2 marks Groundhog Day, the day Punxsuctawney Phil makes the call on whether we freeze or break out the flip flops in two weeks.

The holiday started as a Christian holiday called Candlemas. On Candlemas, Christians would take candles to church and bless them. They believed that it granted blessings to their homes.

Years later, the celebration was introduced to Germany and an animal was added. In German lore, a hedgehog who saw its shadow would declare a “second winter”, six more weeks of bad weather.

Today, the hedgehog is replaced by a groundhog, leading to the name Groundhog Day. The groundhog, named “Punxsuctawney Phil” after the town where the tradition takes place, comes out of his burrow after hibernation and predicts the weather for the next month and a half.

Groundhog Day lets us embrace silliness. We can relax and enjoy harmless festivities in the deep cold of winter without worrying about our responsibilities. In today’s society filled to the brim with fake news, conspiracy theories and COVID-19 deniers, a groundhog weatherman could be just the answer we need.