- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 01 February 2017
- Written by AMANDA DRENNAN VIEWPOINT EDITOR
Every year on Feb. 2 Punxsutawney Phil gets to shine like the star that he is and tell the people if spring will come early, or if there will be six more weeks of winter.
Groundhog Day is a tradition that began in America when most people thought badgers had the power to predict when spring is coming. This allowed them to decide when would be the right time to plant their crops. Because of the lack of badgers in Pennsylvania, the groundhog was used and thus became Groundhog Day.
Currently, Groundhog Day is a day of observation in the United States. When you think about it, there are a lot of ‘holidays’ that sometimes get ignored; Groundhog Day can usually be found on this list. Of course, Groundhog Day doesn’t have the same meaningful messages as holidays such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but there’s no reason that we should forget about it.
Holidays like Groundhog Day do bring forward an important message, and it’s not whether or not spring will be here soon. They teach us the importance of animals and what we can learn from them. This can sound silly when you think about it, because what can you really learn from a groundhog?
If it weren’t for animals in the past signaling farmers when they should plant their crops, the farmers would have struggled with planting too early or late in the season. The groundhogs were helping the farmers even though they don’t realize it. It’s important to recognize that animals have helped us to get to where we are today, and the least we can do is revere them with the utmost respect.
There are several different groundhogs around America that predict the season to come. These predictions are announced during a weekend long event celebrating the groundhog. There are different breakfasts, auctions, and celebrations, which collect money that is given to charities that benefit the well being of animals. Not only do you get to celebrate Groundhog Day, but you also get to contribute to a cause that helps animals in need.
Punxsutawney Phil, who’s known as the most famous groundhog in America, is the center of attention for a few days in February. He’s been known to draw crowds of up to 30,000 people to the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania just to witness his predictions on the weather for the next six weeks.
These crowds are then invited to celebrate the prediction Phil makes with live entertainment, food, and various activities. The weekend is complete with a historical explanation of Groundhog Day and some background on the little creatures themselves.
Groundhog Day creates fun traditions; whether you’re traveling to see Phil himself make a prediction or staying at home watching the event on television, wishing that spring will come early, it’s important to remember that even though this might seem to be a silly holiday to celebrate, we should be thankful for all the help we get from animals.
Most of us will agree that the most important day in February is Groundhog Day. Even if you’re not doing anything special this year for Groundhog Day, it’s important that we celebrate the importance and value of animals in our society and show them respect.