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Groundhog Day

Listed under Festivals in US East Coast, United States.

  • Photo of Groundhog Day
  • Photo of Groundhog Day
  • Photo of Groundhog Day
  • Photo of Groundhog Day
Photo of Groundhog Day
Photo by flickr user shannonpatrick17
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You may be forgiven for thinking that, if you visit Punxsutawney during the Groundhog Day festival, you'll drift around feeling haunted by a strange sense of deja-vu, but in fact, most of the 1993 comedy was filmed in Woodstock, so if you undergo any supernatural marmot-related repetitions while you're there, you can be sure they'll be all your own.

Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog is 120 years old and gains his longevity and eerily accurate weather-predicting powers from a magical elixir which, it is said, he drinks every seven years. He lives in a tree stump on Gobbler's Knob and reveals (in Groundhogese, to his Inner Circle of keepers) if the Winter will continue for another six weeks or not based on whether his shadow falls on the ground before him as he peeps out of his burrow. February 7th is also Candlemas Day, which is linked with a more widespread superstition that fine weather on this date indicates six more weeks of snow, which may be where the Punxsutawney tradition came from.

Either way, Phil's meteorological instincts are clearly very finely tuned, and so many people trust his judgment that his annual big moment is surrounded by a festival in his honour. There'll be a bonfire, hot snacks, live music, magicians, storytellers and other street performances on the preceding two days, and the Groundhog Day proceedings themselves begin at 5am and extend into the afternoon, with autographs and Phil's photo session at the end.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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