Groundhog Day will be a bit different for 2021.
Over the years, the members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club have held a public celebration of Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
But with the coronavirus pandemic still in play in February 2021, there will be no in-person events at the Western Pennsylvania spot when famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow make the annual prediction for either a long winter or an early spring for Groundhog Day 2021.
An announcement posted on the Punxsutawney Phil YouTube channel in November came from Groundhog Club president Jeff Lundy, who announced the changes for Gobbler’s Knob for Groundhog Day 2021.
“Yes we’re going to have Phil and the handlers in the inner circle to pull Phil out for his private prognostication,” Lundy said. “But, due to the circumstances we’re all aware of, unfortunately, we’ll have no in-person viewing and no guests on our grounds.”
Lundy instead promised some virtual events that can be found on the Groundhog.org website.
Here’s How to Watch the Groundhog Day Events Play Out Online in 2021
The events will kick off at 6:30 a.m on Tuesday, February 2 with a “Groundhog Special” followed by Phil’s live prognostication.
“Phil will leave his burrow at 7:25 a.m. February 2nd at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania he will observe the weather conditions and look for his shadow he will then make his prediction for the remainder of winter,” a press release for the event read.
With no in-person events scheduled, options for online viewing will be more important than ever. In addition to the VisitPA live stream available here, the Groundhog Day 2021 events can be watched online via: Groundhog.org.
Here’s What Else to Know About Groundhog Day
The Groundhog Day prediction takes place every year on February 2 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Phil emerges from his burrow on a sunny day and sees his shadow, it means there will be six more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy and the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, it means an early spring is on the way.
For 2021, the weather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania calls for heavy clouds and snow.
While Groundhog Day is a popular event in the United States, the shadow-weather prediction concept stems from Germany and the holiday Candlemas, according to Good Housekeeping. Early European Christians believed that if the sun came out on Candlemas, which is also on February 2, winter would last for another six weeks.
In the U.S., Punxsutawney Phil has been making his prediction since 1886. While the famous groundhog only gets it right about 39 percent of the time, the high-profile prediction event still draws thousands of spectators from all over the world.
Here’s another fun fact: Groundhog Day is also an astronomical holiday, a cross-quarter day that falls approximately midway between the December solstice and the March equinox.
Also, if you think the name Punxsutawney Phil is a mouthful, perhaps you’ll want to avoid trying to say Phil’s full moniker, which is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.”
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