11 FACTS ABOUT GROUNDHOG’S DAY (Feb. 2)
UPDATE—FEBRUARY 2, 2014: Expect 6 more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow,
Falling midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, February 2 is a significant day in several ancient and modern traditions.
The first official Groundhog Day celebration took place on February 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Clymer Freas, who sold a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters—known collectively as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—on the idea. The men trekked to a site called Gobbler’s Knob, where the inaugural groundhog became the bearer of bad news when he saw his shadow.^
NOTE: To entertain children click on Groundhog Day—Children’s Stories & Poems .
Read the 2015 article: Groundhog Day Recipes & Pictures
- The groundhog’s cleanliness protects them how?
- A groundhog’s life span is normally 6-8 years. Why has Punxsutawny Phil’s add 7 additional years to his life each year?
- The movie Groundhog Day, released in 1993, had what effect on the 1994 Groundhog Day ceremony on Gobbler’s Knob in Punx Pennsylvania?
- Why don’t groundhogs drink water?
- Punxsutawney Phil has hobnobbed with which famous persons?
- What is Punxsutawney Phil’s full name/title?
- By what other terms is a groundhog known?
- Why did the Germans start asking the groundhog about spring?
- What did groundhogs discover in Ohio?
- Groundhogs are simple creatures who build small burrows. True or false?
When groundhogs hibernate during the winter their body temperature drops from 99 degrees F. to what? Their heartbeat rate drops from 80 beats a minute to what? And their breathing drops from 12 breaths a minute to what?
Click on MORE to find answers.
- Insects do not bother groundhogs and germs pretty much leave them alone. They are resistant to the plagues that periodically wipe out large numbers of wild animals.*
- Phil receives a drink of a magical punch every summer during the Annual Groundhog Picnic, which gives him 7 more years of life.*
- The movie caused enough of a stir that crowds reached 30,000 people in 1994.
- They get most of their water from leaves.*** They are herbivorous animals, and they eat plants like grass, clover and alfalfa. They also eat strawberries, peas, pansies and garden beans….Groundhogs prefer to feed on leafy plant matter to keep themselves hydrated.^^^^
- In 1986 he traveled to Washington DC to meet with President Reagan, and in 1995 he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show.****
- Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. He was given that name by the editor of the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper in 1886.^^^
- Woodchuck, whistle-pig (because it makes a high-pitched whistle sound when warning others of danger), and land-beaver^^
- As an excuse to drink, eat and be merry…The first celebrants of Groundhog Day were the Pennsylvania Dutch (originally from Germany, who used the holiday as an excuse to get together and party.^^^
- The archeological Ufferman Site…discovered due to the extensive diggings of the local groundhogs, which unknowingly unearthed many human and animal remains, as well as a few artifacts.^^^^
- False. Groundhog burrows have many chambers and more than one entrance. This ensures they have enough places to hide in, and also another entrance to escape from , if a predator comes along. ^^^^
Approximately 40 degrees F. About 4-5 beats per minute. As little as 1 breath per 5 minutes.^^^^