There are plenty of weird customs from around the world but this one particular custom takes the cake, because these Americans from a small town named Punxsutawney celebrate a groundhog’s emergence out of a hole.
Groundhog Day is a traditional holiday originating in the United States that is celebrated on February 2. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then the spring season will arrive early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.
The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where crowds as large as 40,000 (nearly eight times the year-round population of the town) have gathered to celebrate the holiday since at least 1886.
Other celebrations of note in Pennsylvania take place in Quarryville in Lancaster County, the Anthracite Region of Schuylkill County, and the Sinnamahoning Valley of Bucks County.
Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy-comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott. It was written by Ramis and Danny Rubin, based on a story by Rubin. Murray plays Phil Connors, an arrogant Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during an assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, finds himself caught in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again.
After indulging in hedonism and committing suicide numerous times, he begins to reexamine his life and priorities.
According to Groundhog Day organizers, the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90% of the time. However, a Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years found that the weather patterns predicted on Groundhog Day were only 37% accurate over that time period. According to the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, Punxsutawney Phil's weather predictions have been correct 39% of the time.
The National Climatic Data Center has described the forecasts as "on average, inaccurate" and stated that "groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years."
During the feast of celebration of Sretenje or The Meeting of the Lord (Candlemas). It is believed that the bear will awaken from winter dormancy on this day, and if it sees (meets) its own shadow in this sleepy and confused state, it will get scared and go back to sleep for an additional 40 days, thus prolonging the winter.
Thus, if it is sunny on Sretenje, it is a sign that the winter is not over yet. If it is cloudy, it is a good sign that the winter is about to end.
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