Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day
February 2, in most parts of the U.S., the day on which, according to legend, the groundhog first emerges from hibernation. If it is a sunny day and the groundhog sees its shadow, six more weeks of wintry weather are predicted.
[1870-75, Amer.]

* * *

(February 2) In the U.S., the day that the groundhog predicts whether spring will be coming soon.

If, on emerging from his hole, he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if not, spring is imminent. The tradition stems from English beliefs about seeing shadows on Candlemas (also February 2).

* * *

▪ weather folklore
 in the United States and Canada, day (February 2) on which the emergence of the groundhog ( woodchuck) from its burrow is said to foretell the weather for the following six weeks. The beginning of February, which falls roughly halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, has long been a significant time of the year in many cultures. Among the Celts, for example, it was the time of Imbolc, observed in anticipation of the birth of farm animals and the planting of crops, and February 2 is also the date of the Christian festival of Candlemas, also called the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin. During the Middle Ages there arose the belief that animals such as the badger and the bear interrupted their hibernation to appear on this day. If the day was sunny and the animal saw its shadow, six more weeks of winter weather remained. If, however, the day was cloudy, it was a sign that the weather during the following weeks would be mild, leading to an early spring. German immigrants to the United States carried the legend with them, and in Pennsylvania the groundhog came to be substituted for the badger.

      Since 1887 an animal in Punxsutawney, in the west-central part of the state, has been the centre of a staged appearance each February 2. In what has become a media event, a groundhog designated Punxsutawney Phil is the centre of attention of television weathermen and newspaper photographers. Although promoters of the local festival surrounding Punxsutawney Phil claim that the animals have never been wrong, an examination of the records indicates a correlation of less than 40 percent. (Whether a groundhog does or does not emerge is thought to be related to the amount of fat it was able to store before going into hibernation.) Canada has a number of groundhogs that serve as weather prognosticators, perhaps the best known being those portraying Wiarton Willie, a white-furred, pink-eyed creature that has appeared on the Bruce Peninsula, northwest of Toronto, since 1956.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Groundhog Day — (2005) Groundhog Day ist ein kulturelles Ereignis, das an mehreren Orten in den USA und Kanada gefeiert wird. Am 2. Februar jedes Jahres, dem „Candlemass Day“ (Lichtmess), wird traditionell eine Vorhersage über das Fortdauern des Winters… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Groundhog Day — the 2nd February, celebrated in the US. On this day, according to old stories, the groundhog comes out of its hole for the first time since winter began. If it sees its shadow, it is frightened back into its hole and there will be six more weeks… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Groundhog Day — Groundhog ,Day noun uncount February 2nd, a day when some people believe that if a groundhog sees its shadow when it comes out of its hole, there will be six more weeks of winter …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Groundhog Day — ☆ Groundhog Day n. Feb. 2, when, according to tradition, the groundhog comes out of hibernation: if it sees its shadow, it supposedly returns to its hole for six more weeks of winter weather …   English World dictionary

  • Groundhog Day — Infobox Holiday holiday name=Groundhog Day caption=Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA. observedby=United States and Canada date=February 2nd celebrations= Observing a groundhog emerging from its burrow and seeing whether it… …   Wikipedia

  • Groundhog Day — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar al autor …   Wikipedia Español

  • Groundhog Day — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Groundhog Day : singular Groundhog Day plural Groundhog Days 1) in the US, 2nd February, a day when some people believe that if a groundhog sees its shadow when it comes out of its hole, there will… …   English dictionary

  • groundhog day — /ˈgraʊndhɒg deɪ/ (say growndhog day) noun a situation in which events are or appear to be continually repeated. {from the US  film Groundhog Day (1993) in which the main character finds himself repeatedly reliving a particular day,  namely… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Groundhog Day — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Groundhog Day est : le jour de la marmotte, un événement célébré en Amérique du Nord le jour de la Chandeleur le titre original du film américain Un… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Groundhog Day — noun Etymology: from the legend that a groundhog emerging from its burrow returns to hibernate if it sees its shadow on this day Date: 1871 February 2 observed traditionally as a day that indicates six more weeks of winter if sunny or an early… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”