February 2nd is Groundhog Day. Puxsutawney Phil is Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog who predicts the weather for the next 6 weeks. He will either see his shadow, meaning we will have six more weeks of winter or he won’t see his shadow, meaning good weather will come soon. This tradition started in 1887 in Germany where hedgehogs became part of the tradition, making the first predictions for the winter to come. This year, Puxsutawney Phil did indeed see his shadow. That means 6 more weeks of winter. Multiple other states also have their own groundhogs. In Georgia, the General Beauregard Lee, nicknamed “Beau” who is Punxsutawney Phil’s biggest rival and his accuracy is 94%. Louisiana has two nutrias which are large semi-aquatic rodents they are known as “Cajun Groundhog”. New York has at least 4 prognosticating groundhogs. Staten Island Chuck makes the official predictions for New York City. Dunkirk Dave, Malverne Mel, and Holtsville Hal are groundhogs that make predictions for other parts of New York. In North Carolina, the groundhog that has the best record for being accurate, even more than Punxsutawney Phil is Sir Walter Wally. Ohio also has multiple groundhogs. The main one is Buckeye Chuck and he is in Marion, Ohio. Cleveland, Ohio also has one and his name is Thistle the Whistlepig and he is a newer groundhog prognosticator. Other states that have groundhogs are Tennessee with Chattanooga Chuck and he delivers a poem each year. Lastly, West Virginia has French Creek Freddie and he is the go-to groundhog, he has been around for 43 years.
I think it is great that this tradition has been going on for so long. Even though it is all fun and games, it is really fun to see if the groundhogs are actually right or not. It has been made a small holiday(Groundhog Day) and it really means a lot to a lot of people. Punxsutawney Phil is well known throughout the whole US. It is just something small that everyone can look forward to and laugh about even if the prediction isn’t correct. Whoever came up with this idea of having a shadow “determine” whether or not the rest of the winter will be good or bad is super fun. I hope this tradition never goes away because I want my kids and grandkids to know what Groundhog Day is all about.