The town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and the renowned groundhog Punxsutawney Phil are preparing for their big day on the first Friday of February this year, which is Groundhog Day.
Punxsutawney We might have six more weeks of winter if Phil looks around and finds his shadow; if not, spring will arrive sooner.
Georgia’s renowned groundhog, General Beauregard “Beau” Lee, is about to deliver his big prediction. On Groundhog Day in 1981, Beau’s forefathers started making seasonal predictions.
After the ranch abruptly shuttered in 2017, he relocated to the nature center near the Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary in Gwinnett County.
The main gate to the nature center will open at six in the morning, and following a brief ceremony, the groundhog is scheduled to announce his forecast at seven in the morning.
What Is Groundhog Day?
It is a custom that dates back to the agricultural life of Europe and marks the halfway point between the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the spring equinox.
Additionally, it is a season that is included in both the Christian celebration of Candlemas and the Celtic calendar.
Additionally, there’s a legacy of separate groundhog clubs and festivities in eastern and central Pennsylvania, where residents of German origin have witnessed the groundhog’s yearly emergence from hibernation for centuries.
Some criticize the Punxsutawney celebration, claiming theirs foretells the weather more accurately and is an undeserving competition.
At least 28 states in the United States and several provinces in Canada have weather-predicting groundhogs, and informal celebrations have taken place throughout the country.
Though the Groundhog Day weather prediction isn’t even close to scientific or precise, it’s a long-standing custom that draws attention around the country every February 2.
Although the main enthusiasm around Groundhog Day celebrations seems to be the expectation of early spring, it turns out that Punxsutawney Phil has achieved that prediction—that is, not seeing his shadow—less than two dozen times.
To enable the snack giant to run—and run again—eight different commercials for Lay’s potato chips, Disney has sold PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay one-third of all Friday’s national advertising inventory on ABC.
The commercials feature actor Stephen Tobolowsky going through a scenario akin to that from the 1993 comedy “Groundhog Day,” in which he is stuck repeating his actions in a time loop, with a different flavor of Lays in each run-through.
Punxsutawney Phil foretells six more weeks of winter if he sees his shadow. Should he fail to do so, he foresees an early spring.
However, for the past ten years, Phil has only been roughly 40% accurate, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
To Phil’s credit, the NOAA acknowledged that it is challenging to forecast the advent of spring across the entire country.
The largest festival takes place in Pennsylvania. Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, comes alive with activity every year from people speculating about the length of winter.
Entering the grounds at 3 a.m. ET, viewers can enjoy the festivities for free. Before and after the prediction, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts talent shows, dinners, and performances as part of their celebrations.
The groundhog is related to chipmunks as well as prairie dogs and is a member of the squirrel family. It is also referred to as a whistle pig, a woodchuck, or a “grundsau” in Pennsylvania Dutch, a language with Germanic ancestry.
Although they are not often eaten, groundhogs are herbivores that can be eaten by humans. In the wild, they usually live for two or three years.
According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, over 36,000 hunters claimed to have killed over 200,000 groundhogs in the previous year.
According to Game Commission spokesman Travis Lau, groundhogs have thick skins and can be a bit nasty to clean.