The origins of Groundhog Day can be traced back to the 1700’s when arriving German settlers brought with them a tradition known as Candlemas Day. This tradition can traces it’s roots back even further to an ancient Pagan celebration. The dark of winter was a frightful time for the ancients and at the mid point of the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox – approximately February 2 on today’s calendar – superstition held that if the weather was fair, the second half of winter would be stormy and cold.
The tradition continued with the early Christians in Europe, and it became the custom on Candlemas Day for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people in the dark of winter to light their homes. The weather on February 2 became a harbinger for the future. If the sun came out February 2, halfway between Winter and Spring, it meant six more weeks of wintry weather – “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May…”.
Since the first recorded trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA on February 2, 1887, Punxautawney Phil has seen his shadow 102 times and recorded no shadow 17 times (9 years of predictions are missing from the records). When coupled with actual weather records Phil only has an accuracy rating of about 39%.
An anticipated crowd of over 30,000 will be on hand on February 2 in Punxsutawney to see if Phil can get it right this year.
Wallingford PA Real Estate – Wallingford, PA 19086