Groundhog Day 2022: What is Groundhog Day? The true meaning behind the US celebration

Groundhog Day 2022: What is Groundhog Day? The true meaning behind the US celebration

Groundhog Day 2022

Groundhog Day 2022

GROUNDHOG DAY is just around the corner, with another year of seasonal predictions due to take place. Thousands will celebrate the event across the US, but what is the true meaning behind the ceremonies?

Groundhog Day has been celebrated on the same day every year since 1886. With yet another annual celebration set to take place on February 2, 2022, people across the North of the US are preparing to commemorate the notoriously repetitive event. The day revolves around the iconic groundhog ceremony held in Pennsylvania - but what is the true meaning behind it? Why is it celebrated?

What is Groundhog day?

Groundhog day is drawing closer with the 136th anniversary ready to be celebrated on Wednesday, February 2.

Having originated in the Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, this US tradition can be traced back to an old Germanic tale which formed the basis of the Groundhog ceremony.

The day derives from the tale that each year a groundhog will poke its head up out of its den at the beginning of February.

According to the age-old anecdote, if the groundhog sees his shadow and the weather is clear, the winter will carry on for six more weeks.

If it sees a cloudy day, it means early spring is on its way.

Groundhog Day 2022

The iconic event is celebrated across the Northern regions of the US, with the date signalling the midpoint of winter.

Groundhog day has a strong legacy, with the largest celebrations still taking place in Punxsutawney, where the tradition was first observed.

In fact, the origins of the ritual are held in such high regard, that the 1993 Bill Murray film was even set in the same spot.

Having been recognised in modern pop culture, the notion of Groundhog day has become ingrained in our vocabulary as a nod to the often repetitive events of life.

Groundhog Day 2022

What is the meaning behind Groundhog day?

The Pennsylvanian tradition recognises the first cross-quarter day of the year, using the iconic groundhog mammal to forecast the beginning of spring.

Recognised as an astronomical holiday, February 2 falls in the approximate midway between the December solstice and the March equinox.

While many cultures celebrate traditions and holidays at this time, Groundhog day is just one of four cross-quarter days, with Halloween being yet another which is widely celebrated in the US.

Groundhog Day 2022

What happens on Groundhog day?

Each year, the day revolves around a ceremony which is held at daybreak in Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney.

The Groundhog icon, known as Punxsutawney Phil is the reigning mammal who is tasked with making the seasonal prediction.

He is looked after throughout the year by a select group called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, who also plan the annual ceremony in Pennsylvania.

On the day Phil the groundhog is helped up to the top of the stump and is thought to communicate with the president of the Inner Circle in a language known as ‘groundhogese’.

In this mysterious language, Punxsutawney Phil shares his verdict with the president of the Inner Circle (the only person allegedly able to understand groundhogese).

Once he has translated the groundhog’s message, the verdict is read out loud to the crowds while being live broadcast to thousands on TV.

The folklore claims there has only ever been one Phil who has been alive since the first ceremony back in 1886.

Back in 2021, the infamous groundhog was summoned at 7.25am when he predicted a longer winter.

Over the years, Punxsutawney Phil has managed a 40 percent success rate over the years - but only time will tell his predictions for this year.


Previous Post Next Post