Every year since the late 1800s, the good folks in Punxsutawney, Pa. have gathered on Gobbler’s Knob to listen to a groundhog’s thoughts about whether spring will come early. Not sure why these Western Pennsylvanians picked a groundhog over an actual human to predict the weather, but I suppose the winters are long and people get bored. What else can you celebrate on Feb. 2?
Here are a few fast facts about Groundhog Day:
- The first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. was made on February 2, 1887.
- The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs between 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long.
- A groundhog’s life span is normally 6 to 8 years.
- According to the National Climatic Data Center, Punxsutawney Phil is accurate 39 percent of the time.
- Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring 14 times in 112 years.