This research by Whydo is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission when you purchase through our links. Learn more


Why do we celebrate Groundhog Day

Why do we celebrate Groundhog Day

The Groundhog Day is basically a German tradition. In native Germany, hedgehogs were used to detect if the winter will run long or if it has come to an end. It is believed that they can predict the weather accurately by observing the shadow of its own. Every year on the 2nd of February the Groundhog Day is celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was started by the German people who came to settle down at Pennsylvania. Clymer H. Freas, who was the editor of a newspaper in Punxsutawney, became fascinated by the use of groundhogs for determining the weather and started championing it.

Clymer wrote several editorial articles proclaiming a groundhog named Phil the only one who can authentically predict the weather change. With time this tradition has become popular across the entire North America. More and more people have started taking part in this tradition on 2nd February. It may seem surprising or even weird but the tradition of Groundhog Day is rooted in a heritage that the German acquired from their thousand year old ancestors. It is believed that this festival has come down to us from the ancient festival Imbolc. Imbolc is a festival of the Celts and it was held traditionally at the beginning of February and it was used to forecast the beginning of spring.

This is more evident by the fact that Candlemas is observed before Groundhog Day. Children especially enjoy this festival and they learn to value animals from an early age. Badgers and bears have similar hibernating habits. People celebrate the Groundhog Day in a variety of different ways and many innovative games have become a part of this age old tradition. It gives parents a reason to spend quality time with their children and a break from daily monotony.

Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo