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Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2011 - 14:44:53 

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
By Sarah Lane
Jan 14, 2011, 07:49 PST

Groundhog Day

February 2nd




  Would you believe the tradition of Groundhog Day comes from Europe?  The idea originates from Christianity or, rather, Candlemas Day.  On this day, the clergy were to bless and distribute candles that were necessary for survival during a long, cold winter.  These candles were also symbolic for the length and weather conditions of winter. 


Germans added to this idea by designating an animal as the official means by which the weather was predicted.  They had a hedgehog come out and if it saw it's shadow, then you could expect six more weeks of winter.  If it didn't, then you could expect an early spring.  When the Germans came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, they brought this tradition with them.  There were, however, no hedgehogs in Pennsylvania but many, many groundhogs.  The groundhog then became the official prognosticator of the winter season.


Present Day


In 1887, a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania named themselves, "The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club."  One particular member of the group, being an editor for a newspaper, decided to announce that "Phil," the Punxsutawney Groundhog was the one and only official weather prognosticating groundhog.  Now, every year on February 2nd, the world awaits his prediction.  Tens of thousands of people make the half-mile walk from the festivities to Gobbler's Knob.  This is a small hill outside of Punxsutawney where the prediction is made.  The results are entered into the Congressional Record.  Music, dancing and numerous activities begin at midnight and extend until morning when the prediction is made before a huge crowd of devoted fans and the media.

Source: &


Groundhog Day Worksheets



Groundhog Day

Decoder Puzzle

Find these words related to Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog Day

Word Jumble Puzzle

Can you figure out which words are hiding here?


Additional Study Links


The Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club

Beginning with the Groundhog Event Schedule, this site has many great ideas on how to celebrate this unique holiday.  In Pennsylvania they have dances, wedding ceremonies, ice carving contests, sleigh rides, art shows, a woodchuck whittle carving show, a food festival, family fun night, a media mixer, a banquet, and show times for the movie Groundhog Day.  Learn the history of Groundhog Day, start your own club chapter (they are as far reaching as Silicon Valley, California), read about Punxsutawney or purchase official souvenirs.  There is a special activities section for kids with pages to printout and color, puzzles, mazes, word searches, and songs.  Parents and teachers will also find a list of fun games to play to celebrate the holiday.

         Color Phil the groundhog

Source:     Punxsutawney Groundhog Club


Punxsutawney Phil

This particular site has special photos from previous celebrations, tips for visiting, and Phil's forum where you can post a question.  Learn about the community of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania or visit the interactive fun zone.  This special section devoted to kids has a link to say hello to Phil and his fans and free post cards to send to your friends.  There is even a Groundhog Translator where you can take an English phrase and turn it into the language of groundhogs.  "Ask the Groundhog" will make predictions about your future and be sure to stop by the page of Groundhog Impostors, where you can learn who is trying to steal Phil's fame.

Source:     Alan Freed and the staff of OnTV, Pittsburgh


Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Visit this community web site for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.  Learn what it's like to live there, places to go when you visit, businesses in the area and Punxsutawney development (with links to the Industrial park).  View the community calendar of events or visit the Chamber of Commerce and the Official Groundhog Club.

Source:     Punxsutawney Area Chamber of Commerce


PA Groundhog

Welcome to Phil's Digital Den where you can view a photo gallery with photos of cyber-Phil as he travels through Pennsylvania and New York to spread the news about the upcoming Groundhog Day.  You can also view the web-cast where Phil made his prediction of 2/2/2001 amongst revelers.  Visit Punxsutawney or learn the complete history of this holiday.

Source:  Phil's Digital Den



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