Feb 01 2010
If you’ve got nothing to do at dawn tomorrow, jump in your car right now and head for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. You’re going to have to leave early because the festivities are already underway and the really big show starts long before dawn on Tuesday.
Yes, tomorrow is Groundhog Day and people across North America will pull their groundhogs out of hibernation and ask them what they think of the weather. If the groundhogs see their shadows they’ll scurry back to their burrows and we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If dawn is overcast the groundhogs will be happy and predict an early spring.
If you presented me with a sunny or cloudy day and asked me the same question my prediction would be the opposite but I am not Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.
You may be wondering… Why does this festivity happen on February 2nd? Groundhog Day, which is also Candlemas, is an old celebration of the date that falls exactly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. For winter-weary humans it’s just about the only thing we can celebrate at this time of year and it happens to be six weeks away from spring. Funny how that works into Phil’s prediction.
So don’t delay! It’s a huge celebration. The trek to Gobblers Knob begins at 3:00am. The fireworks start before 7:00am and Phil makes his prediction at daybreak (approximately 7:25am).
If you can’t make it to Punxsy, watch it live online on the VisitPA website.
(photo of Groundhog Day 2005 by Aaron Silvers, from Wikipedia via Creative Commons license)