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PUNXSUTAWNEY, WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
Yes, folks, National Groundhog Day is a tradition, observed on February 2nd each year.
The first mention I can find is in storekeeper James Morris’s diary, dated February 4th 1841 of Berks County Pennsylvania. The day is also celebrated in Canada. So maybe close to 200 years, many have been watching for the groundhog to predict the length of the winter. Unless you are a cold-weather sports fan, like skiing, sledding, or snowboarding, you will not want the groundhog to see his shadow.
Thousands of people travel to Punxsutawney on Groundhog day to watch for this rodent. Apparently, if the groundhog sees his shadow there will be 6 more weeks of winter and it runs back into its den and goes back to sleep. If it does not see its shadow, it stays outside and plays. That is taken that spring is near.
This tradition may have started with the Germans when they entered the US, they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania and many of the German people at that time practiced the art of predicting the weather with the shenanigans of the hedgehog. Now still Punxsutawney is the place to be.
There was one year I remember when I was a kid that it was so bitterly cold that the groundhog didn’t show his face, or tail, whatever. No flies on that rodent! Even the weather stations mention the groundhog’s predictions. Technologically speaking, we have come close to the “Jetson’s” of years ago and the groundhog predictions are still taken into consideration. But the best of all, the rodent occasionally outwits the meteorologist.