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Origin Of Holidays

Groundhog's Day


On February 2nd, was Candlemas day; the German version of Groundhog's Day. Groundhog's Day is a celebration to predict how much longer until spring. If the Groundhog peeps out of his den and if he sees his shadow he goes back to sleep for six more weeks when spring comes, but if cloudy he stays out to enjoy an early spring. The Germans used a badger, but the Americans use the groundhog

The groundhog was given the name "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary'' and his hometown thus called the "Weather Capital of the World.'' His debut performance: no shadow - early Spring.

A select group, called the Inner Circle, takes care of Phil year-round and also plans the annual ceremony (Tarkowski, n.d.). The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle will dress in their tuxedoes and top hats on the day and reveal the scroll the groundhog told them about how long it will be until spring. No one knows how they make a judgment on when spring will be in the air. by their top hats and tuxedos.

Punxsutawney Phil has had a 39% accuracy rate regarding his early spring/late winter forecasts. Phil has seen his shadow nearly 87% of the time, so the odds are for six more weeks of winter.

"According to the Groundhog Club's records, the various incarnations of Punxsutawney Phil have predicted 99 forecasts of more winter and 15 early springs." Phil's six-week prognostications have only been correct 39 out of 99 times (Melina, 2011). More accurate ways of spring are available. Technical spring can be told by looking towards the position of the earth to sun and pinpointing when the angle will be enough for a part of the earth to start seeing more light. Or, one could just go outside and determine for themselves when it feels good enough to feel like spring.

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