Groundhog (not Groundhog's) Day
Date  ↓ 	Prediction  ↓ 	Groundhog  ↓ 	Location  ↓
2010 	Early Spring 	Staten Island Chuck 	Staten Island (New York City)
2010 	Early spring 	Dunkirk Dave 	Dunkirk, New York
2010 	Early Spring 	Buckeye Chuck 	Marion, Ohio
2010 	6 more weeks of winter 	Shubenacadie Sam 	Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
2010 	6 more weeks of winter 	Wiarton Willie 	Wiarton, Ontario
2010 	6 more weeks of winter 	Spanish Joe 	Spanish, Ontario
2010 	6 more weeks of winter 	Punxsutawney Phil 	Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

Phil Says Six More Weeks!

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2009 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

The ceremony in Punxsutawney was held in secret until 1966, and only Phil's prediction was revealed to the public. Since then, Phil's fearless forecast has been a national media event.

The groundhog comes out of his electrically heated burrow, looks for his shadow and utters his prediction to a Groundhog Club representative in "groundhogese." The representative then translates the prediction for the general public.

An early American reference to Groundhog Day can be found in a diary[18] entry, dated February 5, 1841, of Berks County, Pennsylvania storekeeper James Morris:

"Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans,[19] the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."
In Scotland the tradition may also derive from an English poem:
    As the light grows longer
    The cold grows stronger
    If Candlemas be fair and bright
    Winter will have another flight
    If Candlemas be cloud and snow
    Winter will be gone and not come again
    A farmer should on Candlemas day
    Have half his corn and half his hay
    On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
    You can be sure of a good pea crop
This tradition also stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day[20] and Groundhog Day. Candlemas, also known as the Purification of the Virgin or the Presentation, coincides with the earlier pagan observance Imbolc. [edit]

Many towns that celebrate Groundhog Day throughout North America have winter-predicting groundhogs. By far, the most notable groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Other groundhogs of note include Buckeye Chuck, General Beauregard Lee, Staten Island Chuck and Wiarton Willie.

Groundhog Day proponents state that the rodents' forecasts are accurate 75% to 90%.[22] A Canadian study for 13 cities in the past 30 to 40 years puts success rate level at 37%.[23] Also, the National Climatic Data Center reportedly has stated that the overall predictions accuracy rate is around 39%.[24]

WKBW-TV meteorologist Mike Randall put it a different way: since there are always six more weeks of winter after Groundhog Day, and the concept of early spring in the astronomical sense simply does not exist, then whenever the groundhog sees its shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter, the groundhog is always right, but whenever it predicts an early spring, it is always wrong. The results have an approximate 80% rate of accuracy, the average percentage of times a groundhog sees its shadow.[25] [edit]

Similar customs

In Germany, June 27 is "Siebenschläfertag" (Seven Sleepers Day). If it rains that day, the rest of summer is supposedly going to be rainy. While it might seem to refer to the "Siebenschläfer" squirrel (Glis Glis), also known as the "edible dormouse", it actually commemorates the Seven Sleepers (the actual commemoration day is July 25).

In the United Kingdom, July 15 is known as St. Swithun's day. It is claimed that at one time it was believed if it rained on that day, it would rain for the next 40 days and nights. However, since the probability of such a protracted period of continual rain is virtually nil it is more likely that the belief was simply that the ensuing summer would be wetter than average.

In Alaska, February 2 is observed as Marmot Day rather than Groundhog Day because few groundhogs exist in the state. The holiday was created by a bill passed by the Alaska Legislature in 2009 and signed by then-Governor Sarah Palin that year.[54] Starring Bill Murray it is a story about second chances and a fractious TV weatherman condemned to repeat the same day again and again until he gets things right.

It is a situation facing Northern Ireland's politicians after eight days of talking and no deal in the latest round of negotiations about devolution.

. . .

Bill Murray said that Groundhog Day was his favourite holiday in an interview with CNN.

One line from the Murray character, Phil Connors, while in the depths of despair about another day repeating may resonate with the news crews sitting outside Hillsborough Castle. According to director Harold Ramis, Connors spent 10 years trapped in Punxsutawney.

It has been nearly 12 years since the Good Friday Agreement was signed as the basis for returning devolved government to Northern Ireland. However, the Groundhog Day negotiations continue.