Groundhog Day 2017 history: 7 facts about the origin, results

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Groundhog Day is widely known annually on  Feb. 2, when individuals throughout the nation wait to find if a small furry rodent will predict an early spring or one other six weeks of harsh winter climate.

For these of you who do not know the science across the custom, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter can be round for a short while longer. Nevertheless, if the groundhog does not see his shadow, spring is on its approach.

Listed here are 7 key information about Groundhog Day:

  • The custom may be traced to Candlemas, an early Christian vacation. Those that celebrated Candlemas determined that clear skies on the vacation meant an extended winter.
  • The Germans ultimately started to consider that if the solar made an look on Candlemas Day, a hedgehog would forged a shadow — predicting six extra weeks of winter. 
  • When German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania, they discovered numerous groundhogs. In order that they determined that the groundhog, which resembles the European hedgehog, might predict the climate.
  • The Punxsutawney Groundhog Membership was based in Punxsutawney, Pa., in 1887 by a gaggle of groundhog hunters. The editor of the Punxsutawney newspaper was a member of the membership, and he claimed that Punxsutawney Phil was the one true climate-predicting groundhog. Ultimately the furry Pennsylvania rodent — often known as Punxsutawney Phil — turned well-known.
  • Staten Island’s personal groundhog — Staten Island Chuck (actual identify Charles G. Hogg) — has been making his prediction on the Staten Island Zoo for over three many years. 
  • In line with the Staten Island Zoo, Chuck has an eighty % accuracy price, together with a streak of seven straight right predictions courting again to 2010.
  • Whereas Phil and Chuck often make totally different predictions, they agreed final yr — calling for an early spring.


This yr’s Groundhog Day celebration on the Staten Island Zoo will start at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2. Chuck is scheduled to make his prediction at 7:30 a.m. Admission to the ceremony is free. 


Native elementary faculty youngsters are given the duty of monitoring what number of days over the subsequent six weeks are hotter, or atypical, for winter climate. A day when the temperature exceeds forty levels is taken into account atypical.

On the finish of the six-week interval, if there are extra atypical climate days than typical climate days, we received an early spring. If there are extra typical climate days than atypical climate days, we acquired six extra…

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