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Groundhog to make 133rd appearance
Groundhog Day pic.jpg
Punxsutawney Phil is pictured at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn.

Groundhog Day is a well-known tradition celebrated Feb. 2 in the United States and Canada. If the groundhog sees his shadow, the story goes, he will retreat to his den and winter will persist for six more weeks. If not, then spring will arrive early.

The history

The earliest mention of Groundhog Day, according to the New York Post, is from James L. Morris of Morgantown, Penn., on Feb. 2, 1840. The first reported news of a Groundhog Day observance didn’t come until decades later and appeared in the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper of Punxsutawney, Penn., in 1886.

How accurate is it?

While Groundhog Day remains a popular conversation piece, studies have found no evidence, or a consistent correlation, between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the weather. Some would say this makes the groundhog much like a modern-day meteorologist.

When does


Phil come out?

The most famous groundhog prognosticator is set to come out at 7:25 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn., according to the Punxsutawney Ground-hog Club. This will mark Punxsutawney Phil’s 133rd time emerging from his burrow.

What’s the main purpose of


Groundhog Day?

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Penn., where crowds as large as 40,000 gather. The tradition of watching a groundhog emerge from his burrow began as a custom among the German “Dutch” community in Pennsylvania in the 1880s. The hilarious 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, also helped boost recognition of the holiday.