Groundhog Day Statistics and Facts (2023)
Last Updated on: March 31st, 2023
Here are a few of the most interesting Groundhog Day statistics and facts I was able to dig up in my internet travels. As always, be sure to check back in the future as I will be updating this post as new and updated stats become available.
With Groundhog Day quickly approaching, I thought it might be a good time to find out more about the special day and how it is celebrated. I recently sat down to see what I could find in terms of Groundhog Day facts and stats. Here are a few of the most interesting things I was able to dig up.
What is Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day is a holiday that is celebrated on February 2nd in the United States and Canada. According to the legend, if a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck) emerges from its burrow on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If it does not see its shadow, spring will come early.
The holiday is most famously celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil is pulled from his burrow each year to predict the weather. The holiday has become a popular cultural reference, thanks to the 1993 comedy film “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray.
Groundhog Day Facts and Stats
- The tradition of Groundhog Day has its roots in an ancient Christian holiday called Candlemas, which was celebrated on February 2nd and involved the blessing of candles.
- February 2nd was selected for Groundhog Day because it is a ‘cross-quarter day.’ This means it falls directly in the middle of the winter solstice and spring equinox.
- The first official Groundhog Day celebration was held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1887.
- Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous groundhog weather prognosticator and has been making predictions since 1887.
- Punxsutawney Phil’s full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”
- According to official records, after Groundhog Day 2022, Phil has seen his shadow 107 times out of 136 attempts. So that puts the chances of Phil seeing his shadow (meaning 6 more weeks of snow) at about 79%.
- Groundhog Day is celebrated in other places in the US and Canada, such as Wiarton Willie in Ontario, Canada, Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh, NC, Birmingham Bill in Birmingham, AL and General Beau Lee in Lilburn, Georgia.
- Groundhogs are also known as woodchucks, and are members of the squirrel family. They are known for hibernating during the winter months.
- Groundhog Day is also celebrated in Germany, where it is known as “Candlemas” and they use a hedgehog instead of groundhog.
- The Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney takes place at Gobbler’s Knob, a small hill just outside of town where Phil makes his prediction.
- Punxsutawney Phil was actually a guest of The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1995.
- Groundhog Day is not a federal holiday, but it is a popular event celebrated in many parts of the United States and some schools and businesses are closed on this day.
Please note that some of these numbers are easier to find than others. Most of these fun facts come from internet reports and may not be official tallies. No information contained on DMR should be relied upon to make investment decisions. Basically, this is the best I can find and I don’t guarantee anything to be 100%.