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The Live Wire

The Student News Site of Liberty High School

The Live Wire

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a holiday that most look forward to, 40,000 gather each year to see what prediction Punxsutawney Phil will make.
Punxsutawney Phil’s full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”

Weather, since the 1880’s Phil has predicted 108 continued winters and only 21 early springs.

Groundhog Day has been celebrated since 1887 but there are origins of the holiday that date later back in time. 

According to The Library of Congress, Candlemas Day was a Christian festival that was an ancient European tradition. Christians would take their candles to church to have them blessed, Candlemas Day marked the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring. The candles each represented how long and cold winter would be. German settlers used this concept by choosing a hedgehog to predict the weather. As the tradition continued, they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs.

Most people are familiar with a groundhog being used to determine our upcoming forecast but that was only sometimes the case. 

Germans that settled in Europe used a badger, but regionally the animal used was a fox or a bear. In Scotland, the animal used is a snake; in Ireland, it is a hedgehog. 

The film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray popularized the saying “Groundhog Day” which means something that is repeated over and over. The movie portrayed this by the main character living in a constant cycle of the same day. 

For Iowans, this year’s prediction is celebrated because of our harsh January. Punxsutawney Phil’s shadow was not seen, meaning, we are due for an early spring.

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About the Contributor
Hadley Andersen
Hadley Andersen, Reporter
Hadley is a sophomore at Liberty and this is her first year on the Liberty Live Wire Staff. Most of her time outside of school is spent training as an equestrian, when she is not at her barn she enjoys spending time with family, reading, and watching movies.