This Thursday, we will once again celebrate Groundhog Day. Adopted in 1887, the day has become quite popular around the country as hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch the groundhog emerge from its burrow to determine whether the winter season will persist or if spring will arrive early. If it’s cloudy, then spring is around the corner. If the sun is out and the groundhog catches a glimpse of its shadow, then we’re in for an additional six weeks of winter.
Groundhog Day is particularly popular in southeastern Pennsylvania and taken very seriously. There are Groundhog Lodges set up to celebrate the holiday with social events called “fersommlinge” which include food, skits or plays, speeches and more. A type of Pennsylvania German dialect is strictly spoken during the event and anyone who utters a word in English must pay a small penalty.
The borough of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania holds the largest Groundhog Day celebration and it is the home of the famous Punxsutawney Phil groundhog.
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