FAQ’s about Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Groundhog Club offers Answers

Bill Murray and Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog

According to IBDb.com, Bill Murray was bitten by the groundhog twice on the Groundhog Day set in 1992.

1. Yes, Punxsutawney Phil is the only true weather forecasting groundhog. The others are just imposters.

2. There has been only one Punxsutawney Phil. Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking “groundhog punch” (a secret recipe). One sip, which is administered every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, gives him seven more years of life.

3. On February 2nd, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob, in front of thousands of faithful followers from all over the world, to predict the weather for the rest of the winter.

4. According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

5. No, Punxsutawney Phil’s forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on February 2nd, he speaks to the Groundhog Club President in Groundhogese. His proclamation is then translated for the world.

6. The celebration of Groundhog Day began with the Germans, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states “For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May…”. The settlers found that groundhogs were plentiful and were the most intelligent and sensible animal to carry on the legend of Candlemas Day.

7. Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800’s. The first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob made on February 2nd, 1887. In 2008 it will be the 122nd prediction.

8. So the story goes, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br’er Groundhog.

GroundHog Cookies Recipe

Groundhog Cookies Recipe

This recipe can be found on the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website. These cookies are recommended for homo sapiens and to be used as groundhog food.

Shape this treat to look like Phil with this cookie-cutter from his official souvenir shopImage

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
1 egg, slightly beaten
Currants or raisins

Directions:   Sift together first seven ingredients. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in molasses and yolk. Stir in flour mixture and mix well. Form into a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill overnight, several nights or freeze.

Place small amounts of dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and cover with plastic wrap. Roll 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies with lightly floured cutter.  For this occasion, you might want to use a groundhog-shaped cookie cutter.

Place cookies on greased baking sheet. Brush with slightly beaten egg. Decorate with currants or raisin eyes. Repeat until all dough is used.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.  Makes 72 or more medium-sized groundhogs.

Find another cookie recipe that is a Groundhog Day tradition.

Celebrate Groundhog Day

What is Groundhog Day?   Groundhog Day is celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2nd.

chocolate treat shaped as  a groundhog

Shop Punxsutawney Phil’s website for groundhog gifts.

The day involves weather prognostication by a furry creature, namely the Groundhog.  The most famous and the biggest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000.  Since 1886, people have gathered here to celebrate the holiday, which is based on when winter is going to end.

The tradition holds that if the groundhog (Marmota monax) pops his head out but sees a shadow when emerging from its burrow, and pops back down, winter will go on for another six weeks. But, if it doesn’t see its shadow, and the groundhog comes out of its burrow, then it is thought that winter will be over soon.

What you should know is… that National Climatic Data Center has described the forecasts as “on average, inaccurate” and stated that “the groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years.”

Although Punxsutawney Phil’s weather predictions have been correct 39% of the time, accordingto the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, he is still considered the Number 1 prognosticator in the United States. 

Looking for gifts and/or party favors to celebrate Groundhog Day?  Click on Punxsutawney Phil’s website to find chocolate treats and more….

Also check out the Recipes page.

groundhog poop _ chocolate candy

A fun gift for Feb. 2nd, give “groundhog poop,” which is really chocolate candy.