Groundhog Day is not a Bergen County event but I thought it would be fun to include it here because it’s this Sunday. Groundhog Day is not only a US tradition; it’s celebrated in Canada too. Both countries observe it on February 2nd.
This is really celebrated at many locations in both countries but ground zero is really the Borough of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day there has become a major national event swelling the town’s population from 6,000 to over 20,000 people.
So What Is Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day is all about predicting the weather. Specifically it predicts when spring comes. Now, think about the logic of this – a rodent’s behavior is going to tell us when spring begins. Obviously this is a mythical event that’s become a lot of fun too.
IF the groundhog comes out of it’s burrow on February 2nd and it’s a clear day, the little rodent will see it’s shadow. It will retreat to it’s den and we’ll have 6 more weeks of winter. However, if the day is cloudy and overcast, then no shadow so spring will be early. How accurate is this? Not even a little.
The powers that be in Punxsutawney PA have named their groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. This ceremony has been going on since 1887 and Phil has always lived in a spot called Gobblers Knob.
There are 15 local volunteers who are the keepers of this legend known as the Inner Circle. They are easy to spot because they all wear tuxedos and top hats. Some are Phil’s handlers.
Every February 2nd at an appointed time they read a proclamation telling the world if Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow. Phil is held up by his handler for all to see while this is going on.
Groundhog day is a fun and welcome diversion from the drabness of winter. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club even has their own website all about it.