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Groundhog Day: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Quirky Holiday

Fri, January 31, 2014 6:16pm EDT by 7 Comments
Groundhog Day Trivia
Alex Wong/News/Getty Images

As we anxiously await Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction for whether spring will come early this year, let’s take this time to learn some fun facts about Groundhog Day!

It’s that time of year again! On Sunday, Feb. 2, Americans will wait with bated breath to get their weather tips from a groundhog. So how did this quirky holiday come to be? has rounded up five fun facts about Groundhog Day that we bet you didn’t know!

Groundhog Day Trivia — 5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Quirky Holiday

Before there was Groundhog Day the movie, there was Groundhog Day the (weird and random) holiday!

Groundhog Day Sneak Peak

1. Groundhog Day was adopted in the U.S. in 1887 after Clymer H. Freas, the editor of the local paper Punxsutawney Spirit, began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official “Groundhog Day meteorologist.” The origins of the holiday, however, date all the way back to ancient Europe, when people turned to badgers or bears for their winter weather predictions.

2. Have you ever wondered how Phil’s prediction is determined? Of course we know that if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. But apparently the world’s most famous groundhog uses “a chirp and a click and a wink of an eye” to inform the president of Phil’s Inner Circle about his vision, Inner Circle VP Mike Johnston reveals. How magical!

3. Don’t get too down if Phil predicts six more weeks of winter this year. His accuracy is reportedly only 39 percent, according to Stormfax.

4. Wondering about Phil’s forecasts from Groundhog Days past? Look no further than the Congressional Record, in which Phil’s predictions are routinely recorded!

5. After the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, was released, tens of thousands of people began to flock to Punxsutawney, Penn. to see Phil give his forecast in person.

So HollywoodLifers, are you looking forward to Groundhog Day? Do you think Punxsutawney Phil is worried that the Super Bowl will overSHADOW his big day? Let us know in the comments below.

— Tierney McAfee

More Groundhog Day News:

  1. Groundhog Day: Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?
  2. Groundhog Day Shocker: Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?