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Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

Lindenlink

Student Media of Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri

Lindenlink

Groundhog day: weather divination or life on repeat

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This year the Groundhog day prediction is that spring is close.

Groundhog Day is known for its prediction of the arrival of spring or the prolongation of winter.

It is an American holiday originating from the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has sponsored the event since 1887 in Punxsutawney, PA. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club (PGC) says the holiday derives from Candlemas, “when Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed.” Originally people would predict the end of winter using a rhyme.

“If Candlemas be fair and bright,

Come, Winter, have another flight;

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If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,

Go Winter, and come not again.”

When this tradition traveled to Germany, the addition of an animal was added on, a small hedgehog or badger was said to predict the end of winter. When German settlers came to America, they had no hedgehogs so the groundhog took his place. So now, each year on Feb. 2, the PCG will wake up at midnight and start the traditional prognostication. 

Despite the roots in the Christian tradition, this is a form of prognostication that is believed to be witcraft. Many historians tie it to older pagan traditions that outdated Candlemas, The Library of Congress blog points out that Celtic tradition had similar practices on Feb. 2 as part of their holiday Imbolc.

For those who do not wish to travel to one of the many Groundhog Day events across the United States, in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Texas, the results of the divination are posted on the PGC website. This year the prediction is that spring is close.

An alternative celebration of the day has taken shape since the 1993 film Groundhog Day came out. The main character is a journalist who has been asked to write a story on Groundhog Day for the past four years and wakes up to find every day has become Groundhog Day. He is doomed to spend eternity on the same day in the same place. Some people have begun to celebrate by repeating the same day twice to celebrate Feb. 2. 

Some people celebrated this year by throwing a party on Friday night and repeating the party as close as they could on Saturday night.

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Jia (Sophia) Buck, Culture Editor
Jia Buck is the culture editor and a reporter for Lindenlink Media. She is a freshman majoring in Communications with an emphasis on Journalism. Aside from writing, Jia loves strange historical facts, fantasy books, and anything creative. Jia spends her free time with friends or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time.
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