Groundhog Day

Marlyn Gajek

This passing February 2nd was the popularly known Groundhog Day, and the groundhog predicted that that spring will come early this year. But what does Groundhog Day signify? Where did Groundhog Day come from? And why a groundhog?

Well, Groundhog Day comes from a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, where if the groundhog comes out on a clear day and sees its shadow it will retreat into its burrow and signify that groundhogs day will last for another six weeks. If it was a cloudy day then the groundhog will not see its shadow and be frightened, but instead, go and explore, signifying an early spring. 

This all started in 1723 when the first white settlers arrived in Punxsutawney, where this tradition all started, and attempted to take over the land from the Native Indians. The natives did fight hard, but they did not win. Though they did get jobs in building shelters for a little bit before they were eventually kicked out and forced out of their homeland. Though one Native decided that they will keep their home while everyone else left: the groundhog. And before the Natives left the setters did take something from their traditions. Groundhog Day. They now watched the groundhog every sunset of February 2nd to see when spring will come.

Groundhog tradition comes from Punxsutawney and was integrated into American culture during the short time that the Native Americans and white settlers spent working together, attempting to make a peaceful place to live, that in which did not happen.

Well, it’s a groundhog because that was the only animal at the time that the Punxsutawney residence saw that had this type of behavior and came up from the burrow every year in the same exact pattern.

So every year at  Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania more than 20 thousand people gather at the place where the groundhog will come up and drink and eat till its the sunrise of February 2nd. There they wait for the results for when spring will come. Then they will drink and eat and celebrate the results for that year.

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