February 2 2023

Groundhog Day


A groundhog pops its head out of its burrow.

The first Groundhog Day took place on February 2, 1887. It has been celebrated every year since in Punxsuntawney (puhnk•suh•taw•nee), Pennsylvania. The groundhog’s name is Punxsuntawney Phil. Every February 2, Phil comes out of his burrow, or hole. The legend says that if Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, there will be an early spring.

Groundhogs are rodents, like squirrels and chipmunks. They can weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. They live as far north as Alaska. In summer, they eat as many fruits and vegetables as they can find. In late fall, they stay in their burrows to hibernate, or sleep. Some groundhog burrows can be more than 50-feet long.

image credit: ©Brian E. Kushner/Moment Open/Getty Images
Question 1
When was the first Groundhog Day?

Question 2
What does it mean if Phil sees his shadow?

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