GroundHog Day, what does it mean?


RJ King, Reporter

    Groundhog Day’s is a popular tradition celebrated in Canada and the United States. The purpose of the holiday is to see if the groundhog, named Punxsutawney Phil, will see his shadow or not. If Phil sees his shadow, then it is said that winter will continue for six more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring-like weather will come early.

   The Groundhog’s ceremony is held in Punxsutawney, Pa, hence the groundhogs name. Ground Hog day originates from a German Holiday called “Badger Day,” which is also held on February 2. The German immigrants brought over the tradition with them in the early 1900’s. 

   This past February 2, Punxsutawney Phil came out of his hole and did not see his shadow. Therefore, it means that an early spring will come. It is rare for Phil to not see his shadow. From the official records, he has seen his shadow 104 times, and failed to see his shadow a mere 20 times. Also, this is the first time ever that Phil hasn’t seen his shadow two years in a row.

   An animal rights advocate group, named PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,)  is trying to get Punxsutawney Phil retired. They want to implement “a cutting-edge animatronic groundhog that could actually predict the weather using artificial intelligence instead.” Also saying it would breathe life into a tired tradition and finally do right by a long-suffering animal.  According to an article from“The Hill,” PETA stated that, “Gentle, vulnerable groundhogs are not barometers.”

   Sophomore Gus Guzik has a special affiliation with groundhogs since he shares his first name with the second most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania. “Punxsutawney Phil is not Gus the Groundhog from the Pennsylvania lottery,” Guzik explained. 

   An avid snowboarder, Guzik is not happy with Phil’s prediction of an early spring.  “I like a longer winter.” 

  Time will tell if Guzik gets his wish or if Phil’s prediction is accurate, as there is no real knowledge of whether spring will come sooner or not. Impartial estimates only place the groundhog’s accuracy between 35 and 40 percent.