For He’s A Jolly Good….Groundhog?

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow again…and we all know what that means! Tradition says six more weeks of winter are headed our way before we start to feel the warmth of spring. How accurate IS a groundhog on that, and why have we come to ask one every year?

The first Groundhog’s Day was in 1887. It came from the Christian holiday of Candlemas, when candles for the winter would be handed out by clergy. Each candle represented the length of that winter. This holiday originated in Germany, where they began adding hedgehogs to it as animal meteorologists. When Germans immigrated to the United States, they began using groundhogs, since groundhogs were easier to find there.
Ever since Phil was declared the official weather-predicting groundhog, only groundhogs from his family line have been used! They come out of hibernation for good in March, which is why we watch him check his shadow every February.
So just HOW accurate is groundhog forecasting? I know we all get upset at our local meteorologist now and then for a bad prediction, but I’d say they have a leg-up on Ol’ Phil. He is only accurate 39% of the time! So, here’s hoping for another bad prediction and an early spring. I don’t know about you, but winter is definitely my least favorite season!
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