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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Feb 2

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"If Candlemas Day is clear and bright,
Winter will have another bite.
If Candlemas Day brings cloud and rain,
Winter is gone and will not come again.”

~ Traditional

Groundhog Day, a uniquely American weather prognostication day which coincides with the Pagan festival of Imbolc (the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar), and Candlemas Day, takes place on February 2nd. The groundhog is a rodent in the family of large ground squirrels known as marmots. The groundhog has also been referred to as a: Woodchuck, Whistlepig, Chuck, Wood-shock, Groundpig, Whistler, Thickwood Badger, Canada Marmot, Monax, Moonack, Weenusk, and the Red Monk! According to traditional folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog may see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will persist for six more weeks! ⛅ ❄️ ☀️ 🐿️

Groundhog Day

Modern customs on Groundhog Day involve public celebrations where early morning festivals are held to watch the designated groundhog emerging from its burrow.


Groundhog Day was officially adopted in the U.S. in 1887 when an enterprising editor of a local paper in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, began promoting the town’s groundhog as the official “Groundhog Day meteorologist.”  Today, the largest Groundhog Day celebration is still held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with the groundhog named "Punxsutawney Phil."


Weather prediction lore using the groundhog began as a transplanted European custom brought by the Pennsylvania German community who settled in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th century.  Whereas in Europe, a hedgehog, a badger or sacred bear would be used as the prognosticator, the native groundhog served the same purpose. 

Nowadays, there are many competing groundhogs purported to be able predict the weather.  


For an incredibly long list of celebrity groundhogs, from "Balzac Billy" in Balzac, Alberta, to "Susquehanna Sherman," in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, click the the picture below of Punxsutawney Phil" and his entourage.

Groundhog Day

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

Groundhog Day

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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