Punxsutawney Phil of Philadelphia … Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day. This day traditionally marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox.  Will the groundhog see his shadow this year? What is the meaning of Groundhog Day … and why do we celebrate weather predictions from a plump marmot? I’m gonna tell you what The Old Farmer’s 2021 Almanac founded in 1792 has to say about it.

According to legend, if a groundhog sees its shadow on this day, there will be 6 more weeks of winter; if it doesn’t, then spring is right around the corner.  I don’t know about you, but our weather has been so fickled that I don’t know if I’ll even trust Punxsutawney Phil of Philadelphia to decide whether we’re gonna have winter or spring this year.

This tradition began when the farmers needed to determine when to plant their crops, so they tried to forecast whether there would be an early spring or a lingering winter. Thus, the beginning of Candlemas (February 2nd.). 

It wasn’t held as a good omen if the day itself was bright and sunny, for that betokened snow and frost to continue until the hiring of the laborers six week later.  If it was cloudy and dark, warmth and rain would thaw out the fields and have them ready for planting.

Our Groundhog Day, as we know it, is a remote survivor of that belief.

For centuries farmers in France and England looked to a bear, while in Germany, they kept their eye on the badger.  In the 1800’s, German immigrants in Pennsylvania brought the tradition with them. Finding no badgers there, they adopted the groundhog to fit the lore … thus, Punxsutawney Phil has announced spring’s arrival since 1887. Other groundhogs also have carrier on the tradition, including Ontario’s Wiarton Willie.

Though we recognize that animal behavior isn’t the only way to judge planting dates, the tradition continues, often with a wink and a smile.

So, will the groundhog in your neck of the woods see his shadow?


To one lucky winner, I will send them their choice of an eBook or trade size paperback of my third book in the Kasota Spring Series Out of a Texas Night.

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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com

34 thoughts on “Punxsutawney Phil of Philadelphia … Groundhog Day”

  1. Happy Groundhog Day. I sure hope he does not see his shadow. I’m ready for springtime. It’s my favorite tome of the year. Everything is so new fresh and green.
    You have a great day My Sweet Texan Friend.

  2. Punxsutawney Phil is from Punxsutawney, not Philadelphia. Punxsutawney is closer to Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania. 🙂

    He’s not seeing his shadow here. I’ve got snow from the nor’easter.

    • Hi Denise. Good to hear from you. I may have miss the Pittsburg part but I took the almanac info as my only research. I figure everyone back east won’t be thinking spring right now. Have a great day and take care of you and yours. Hugs

    • Hi Janine. Good to hear from you. Most of the time that’s how we are and we were kinda expecting it today, but it’s beautiful…no wind! When you have time you might want to ck out my Pinterest account. I love Cats and have a file for kittens. Take care of yourself and your. Hugs.

    • Hi Estella, good to hear from you. You’re probably right. We’re having a beautiful day, but our weather man doesn’t agree with poor ol’ Punxsutawney Phil, since he says he can see lots of cold and possible snow coming our way. We’re on a caprock;; therefore, have really funky weather. Ol’ Phil is in the cold part of the country right now! Take care and enjoy your day. Hugs, Phyliss

  3. Good Morning from Northwestern Illinois ..we have partly cloudy here today..so it could go either way for the Ground Hog today here….I’m praying he doesn’t see his shadow…I’m so ready for spring ! Have a good day ..thank you for all that you do !

    • Hi Ruby, so glad to hear from you. Unfortunately, I heard on the national news that he didn’t see his shadow and wanted to get down and settle back into his home for a while yet. We’re having a pretty day here in Texas, but our weather man doesn’t believe it’s gonna last. I’m also ready for spring. Thank you for the compliment. We are thrilled to provide blogs that a lot of folks like. It’s also so informative to us, too. With this weather, get you some hot tea or hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows and grab a good book! Big hugs to our Northwestern Illinois friend.

    • Hi Charlene. I believe he saw his shadow, but then look at the weather where he lives. I’ve lived in Texas all of my life, so I’m not use to days and days of snow, not like it was when I was a kid. Enjoy it as much as you can. Take care of you and yours. So good to hear from you.

  4. I am ready for spring, but have a feeling that Mother Earth is going to do whatever it desires, regardless of seeing a shadow or not.

    • Hi Veda, I totally agree with you. I think unless folks live in true snow country a little winter is enough for Mother Nature to take control of the trees and flowers, let them rest a while, give them some water and let them loose for spring!!!! Take care. Hugs, Phyliss

    • Hi Debra. You are so right. The news reports I saw showed just that … six more weeks of winter. My flowers (tulips particularly) are beginning to burst through yet we’re expecting snow by the weekend. It’s pure funky weather here in the Texas Panhandle. Take care and have a great day.

    • Hi Joye, so good to hear from you. I believe you are right being in Arizona. Texas is so big, and we are in the panhandle, that it’ll be warm in Houston and freezing here. It’s gonna be 70 today and tomorrow then snow the next few days. The thrill of being raised on the caprock! Take care of yourself.

  5. Since I live in Florida, it doesn’t matter what the groundhog thinks, we know we won’t really have a spring, we’ll head straight into summer!!

    • Hi Trudy, so good to hear from you. And, you’re so right about Florida. We used to come every summer to Fort Lauderdale for a couple of weeks in a time-share with friends and we love it there. But we got too old and have too many dogs to leave at the Canine Country Club for two weeks, so we don’t go any longer. Sure miss it. Take care of yourself.

  6. Hello and They said he seen his shadow in our neck of the woods I ask my daughter lol How could he see his shadow when it was so snowy and cloudy My answer to this is It will be what The Good Lord wants it to be Have a Great Day ! And Happy Groundhog Day!

    • Hi Sarah, good to hear from you. I totally agree with your daughter (after all they are smarter than their mothers huh?LOL) I believe there’s no way for him to be 100% in one state only. We need our own “Phil” every square mile throughout the US…but I think we do in Texas. Haha! Have a great Groundhog Day, too!

    • Good to hear from you Jackie. I agree with you. Enjoy the weather you have. Here in the Texas Panhandle our weather can change within an hour. Take care and have a wonderful days.

  7. I live in southern California near the coast, and today it’s partly cloudy here. So I’m not really sure.

    • Hi Diana, good to hear from you. Our oldest daughter and family live in Santa Barbara County and she said it’s been beautiful there off and on but then they don’t even have any air conditioning since the temperature stays around 65 degrees year round. I’m gonna bet that being in Southern California and near the coast you have the same except warmer in the summer. Please take care of you and yours with the Covid being so bad out there. I know you’ll enjoy the weather. Our family live right on the coast, too. Have a great Groundhog Day. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. So very interesting, Thank you so much for sharing this. Well, here in west Texas, you just never know, the weather can be super nice and warm one day and then the next day it is freezing! Today it has gotten up to 85 , so who knows. 🙂 Have a Great week and stay safe. God Bless you.

    • Hi Alicia, so good to hear from you. I’m glad you found my blog interesting. Brother do I understand the West Texas weather. It’s a lot like ours on the Caprock, but a few days earlier. I pray you have a great week, too and please stay safe. May the Good Lord Bless and keep you and yours. Hugs, P

  9. Hi Teresa, so good to hear from you. I know living in Michigan and that nor-eastern in and around you, there’s little doubt of no shadow. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the post today. I learned a lot myself. Have a great evening, my friend.

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