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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day was first celebrated on February 2, 1887.

“Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 2nd, has its origins in an ancient Christian tradition known as Candlemas Day, which marked the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. On this day, clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter, and the candles represented how long and cold the winter would be.

The Germans expanded this concept with a hedgehog, which, if it saw its shadow, indicated six more weeks of winter. German settlers in Pennsylvania brought this tradition with them, and it evolved into the American version we know today. The town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, held its first official Groundhog Day celebration in 1887, featuring a local groundhog named Phil. According to folklore, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow upon emerging from his burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if he does not, an early spring is expected.

Groundhog Day has grown from its folkloric and religious origins into a widely celebrated event across the United States, complete with festivities and media attention. Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are followed with interest and amusement

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