Groundhog Day 2024

Next Sunday, 2 February 2025

Groundhog Day celebrated on February 2nd, is a special day when a cute little groundhog predicts the weather.

On this day, the furry forecaster pops out of its burrow. Will it bring good news of an early spring or suggest more winter days ahead?

It's a fun tradition that adds a touch of magic to the transition from winter to spring. 

Groundhog Holding Seed

What is Groundhog Day?

The premise is that every year sometime in the morning of this day, a groundhog comes out of its den, and if it sees its shadow on the ground and returns into the hole, that means there will be six more weeks of winter from that date. However, if the groundhog does not see its shadow, and stays out of its hole, it means that spring is near, and will arrive early.​​​

Why is Groundhog Day celebrated?

Although the tradition of Groundhog Day may seem odd, it still has some meaning and logic behind it. As a hibernating animal, when groundhogs come out of their den, it marks the arrival of spring. 

During early times, Europeans used to look for signs of hibernating animals to come out as a sign that winter was ending. 

The period between the Winter Solstice and the Summer Equinox is the period when early Europeans and Romans would have rituals such as Candlemas Day to mark the arrival of spring and to inspect the weather for planting crops. This happened usually during Early February.

Groundhog Day began in America through the German settlers in Pennsylvania in the 19th century as they used to look for hedgehogs back in their homeland as a way to predict the weather in the coming months. 

However, the Pennsylvania region was populated with groundhogs, and so, they became the official weather forecaster. 

The first known record of people searching for groundhogs to determine the weather happened in the 1880s when a group of friends went into Punxsutawney's woods looking for groundhogs coming out of their dens.

This soon became a popular tradition with people in the town, and in 1887 Groundhog Day was officialized. The ceremony remains a popular one to this day. All of the groundhog’s predictions are registered in the Congressional Records of our National Archive.

Groundhog day today

After making this an official tradition in the area, people named the forecasting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and he is now a local celebrity.

He earned even more notoriety around the country after the release of the popular 1993 movie featuring a star-studded cast with the well-known actor Bill Murray playing the lead role.

While Phil is the most well-known groundhog, other states have their mascots, such as Pothole Pete in New York or Buckeye Chuck in Ohio. 

Current celebrations of this tradition usually take shape in the way of festivals that draw crowds of around 40,000 people every year.

The events are also broadcast on TV, so people can still watch the ceremonies from home. The most popular celebration is held in Gobbler’s Knob and is hosted by local government officials, who wear top hats and speak in a language they call Groundhogese. 

The groundhog’s predictions are not usually taken seriously, but this remains a way to honor cultural traditions. Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow 9 out of 10 times.

Read Candlemas Day next. 

Groundhog Day 2024
Groundhog Day 2024

Groundhog Day 2024 - Next years

Monday, 02 February 2026

Tuesday, 02 February 2027

Wednesday, 02 February 2028

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