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February is midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Throughout history numerous holidays have marked this seasonal crossroads. Among these is Candlemas Day, February 2, a Christian holiday that celebrates Mary's ritual purification. Early Christians believed that if the sun came out on Candlemas Day, winter would last for six weeks more.
The ancient Romans observed a mid-season festival on February 5, and the pagan Irish celebrated one around February 1. In many parts of Europe early February might herald the start of spring, when crops could be planted.
Punxsutawney Phil and Friends
Punxsutawney Phil has definitely adapted to the times. He can now text you his Tuesday weather prediction. Just text "Groundhog" to 247365 on Groundhog Day.
a superstition it is. But there's a grain of truth: the winter days when you can see your shadow clearly are often especially cold, because there are no clouds overhead to insulate the earth.
Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90% of the time. A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts the success rate level at 37%. Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall prediction accuracy rate is around 39%.
With cloudy skies and freezing rain in the forecast for western Pennsylvania on Wednesday morning, it's unlikely that famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow when he pops out of his burrow.
they generally give the groundhog some sort of alcohol before the event
· Arkla-homa Will – Arkansas
· Balzac Billie - Balzac, Alberta
· Birmingham Bill - Birmingham, Alabama
Bill, the groundhog, lives at the Birmingham Zoo in Birmingham, Alabama. He makes his annual weather-predicting appearance at 10 am on Saturday, February 2 - His appearance is later than everyone else's, but he is a Southern Groundhog, after all... sleeps in late and parties late!!!
· Buckeye Chuck - Marion, Ohio
A February tradition for many years, the Ohio General Assembly declared 'Buckeye Chuck' from Marion, OH, the State Groundhog in 1979.
· Chester from St. Louis
Chester, the official weather prognosticating groundhog for the St. Louis Zoo, is known for his accurate predictions.
· Chilly Charlie - Woodstock, Ontario
Woodstock, Ontario, Canada had its first Groundhog Day in 2003 at South Gate Centre, a meeting place for adults 55+. Woodstock's groundhog is a puppet named Chilly Charlie.
· Chuck Wood - Stickney, Illinois
Chuck is The Committee for the Commercialization of Groundhog Day's official mascot. Although he doesn't exist outside their Website and merchandise, he still would like to offer his prediction for the Chicagoland area.
· Claude the Crawfish
Louisiana gets into the action with its very own weather-prognosticating crawfish?
· Cloudy - Brookfield, Illinois
Children’s Zoo is home to Cloudy, the annual participant in the Groundhog Day celebration at Brookfield Zoo. Cloudy now has some new company: a recently acquired groundhog named... Sunny.
· Connecticut Chuckles - Manchester, Connecticut
Chuckles resides at the Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester Connecticut. He is a local celebrity and takes his job predicting the weather very seriously.
· Dixie Dan - Tupelo, Mississippi
Dixie Dan, Jr. is a miniature groundhog and is really a hit with the children who come to Rainbow Farm. Folks there are trying to get the legislature to name him the official ground hog for Mississippi.
· Dunkirk Dave - Dunkirk, New York
· Essex Ed - Essex, CT
· Florham Park Phil - Florham Park, NJ
· Florida Phyllis - Apopka, Florida
Phyllis is a Florida Groundhog... she sees things a little differently. And since she lives in Florida, she said " I can't waste that sun! I need a tan after all that hibernation stuff. Let those northern Groundhogs do what they must. I've got places to go and things to see. First thing is to head down to Tom and Joani's veggie garden for a little snack.. then it's off to the beach. This weekend it's off to Disney World to see a few of my friends! Florida's a great place to be a groundhog!”
· French Creek Freddy - French Creek, West Virginia
Freddy, who makes his home at the West Virginia Wildlife Center, has predicted West Virginia weather for about 25 years.
· Furby the Wonder Chicken - Vancouver, British Columbia
From Ground Chicken Central in Vancouver BC Canada, Furby took on the equal opportunity title of "Official Ground Chicken."
· General Beauregard Lee – Liburn (suburban Atlanta), Georgia
Gen. Beau Lee, Ph.D., Georgia’s "As Real As It Gets" Groundhog, is expected to emerge from the swinging door of His Official Mansion on February 2nd, National Groundhog Day.
· Holland Huckleberry - Holland, Ohio
Holland Huckleberry's favorite food is peanut butter on toast for breakfast with the rest of the family with whom he lives. He also enjoys red clover blossoms, lambs quarters, salted peanuts in the shell, potato chips and sweetened iced tea.
· J.B. (short for Just Because) - Holland Township, NJ
J.B. is served by the Eastern Extension of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge; the original Slumbering Groundhog Lodge, Lancaster, PA, was founded in 1908.
· Jimmy the Groundhog - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Jimmy hails from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, the true Groundhog Capital of the World according to the natives.
· Lander Lil - Lander, Wyoming
Lander Lil is back! After her unfortunate kidnapping, community-wide efforts were made to retrieve her. Lander Lil is back home in her burrow near the Lander Post Office, and is expected to predict the weather for a long time to come.
· Malverne Mel
As if New York didn't already have enough weather-predicting groundhogs, Malverne Mel began his prognosticating career in Long Island in 1996.
· Metompkin Max - Delmarva Peninsula, Virginia
Max is the nephew of the famed forecaster of southeastern Pennsylvania, Octoraro Orphie (who is listed below). Both are of the Marmotus rex clan, noted forecasters and general shunners of publicity.
· Mr. Prozac - Oxford, Michigan
Noah John, Oxford’s beloved one-eyed weather prognosticating groundhog passed away on April 22, 2002 as a result of injuries sustained in a traffic accident in 1998. Before Noah John died, he met several times with his llama friend Mr. Prozac and instructed Zac in the art of weather prognosticating.
· Octarara Orphie - Quarryville, Pennsylvania
Punxsutawney Phil's neighborly rival, Octarara Orphie, is claimed in Lancaster County, PA as the king of the whistle pig prognosticators. Groundhog Sighting Squads are dispatched to observe and consult with live groundhogs in the woods. They report back to the Chateau at White Rock Lodge located along the banks of the Octorara Creek in Eastern PA.
· Peewee, the Woodchuck - Mile Square Farm, Vermont
The newest weather predicting groundhog on the block, in Vermont's Green Mountains.
· Pennichuck Chuck - Hollis, New Hampshire
Pennichuck Chuck, the Granite State’s own groundhog, has discovered a new method of predicting the weather. This discovery will enhance New Hampshire’s reputation as a state of innovators.
· Petaluma Pete - Petaluma, California
To show that Petaluma Pete is up to his unusual forecasts, he will be giving golf lessons to Bill Murray just a little south of Petaluma at Pebble Beach.
· Pierre C. Shadeaux - New Iberia, Louisiana
Those who are familiar with the history of the local Cajun Groundhog will recall how Pierre considers himself much more civilized than some of the other weather predicting animals, especially that Yankee groundhog up in Pennsylvania. That's why Pierre usually makes his prediction after 8 a.m. on Groundhog Day, while others get out at sunrise to make their predictions.
· Pothole Pete – New York, New York
· Ridge Lea Larry - Buffalo, New York
Larry is a stuffed Groundhog who represents the Geology Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo.
· Shubenacadie Sam - Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park's local meteorologist in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the first groundhog to make a prediction every February 2 in Canada!
· Sir Walter Wally - Raleigh, North Carolina
Sir Walter Wally and Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences invite you to participate in their annual statewide celebration of Groundhog Day.
· Spike - Duluth, Minnesota
Okay, he's not really a groundhog, but if we can have Llamas and Chickens standing in, certainly a porcupine (a.k.a. a Groundhog with a perpetual bad hair day) is welcome.
· Staten Island Chuck - Staten Island, New York
Does every "burrow" of New York City have its own groundhog? We're not sure, but we do know that Staten Island is proud of Chuck, who has an accuracy rating of 84 percent! Staten Island Chuck's handler has noticed some whisker twitching and believes that it is because he is getting anxious. 02-02-02 was a special day for Chuck because he completed his 20th year of weather-forecasting.
· Tennessee Groundhog - Silver Point, Tennessee
UPCHUCK, INC. is an organization dedicated to the commercialization of Groundhog Day in Silver Point, Tennessee. They were founded in 1979. The work's been slow but sure and they press on, tired of that Phil guy. "He's okay for those with the same latitude and longitude as him, but for the rest of us, he is actually quite useless," Tennessee says.
· Two Rivers Tunnel - Two Rivers, Nova Scotia
Groundhog Day is a special event at Two Rivers Wildlife Park. This is when Two Rivers Tunnel comes out to give his forecast on the remaining winter. He's never been wrong. On Groundhog Day the community hosts fieldtrips for school kids and provide many activities for all visitors.
· Unadilla Bill - Unadilla, Nebraska
In January 1988, the Lt. Governor signed a proclamation declaring Unadilla "Groundhog Capital of Nebraska." It is celebrated with a Wild Game fee, and (weather permitting) a parade.
· The Virtual Groundhog - Bonn, Germany
· Wiarton Willie - Wee Willie – Wiarton, South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario
Wee Willie, the newest Ottawa groundhog to take on the Wiarton Willie name, is probably Punxsutawney Phil's most famous competition.
I don't know where your headed, But can you call in?