What is Groundhog Day Anyway?

What is Groundhog Day Anyway?


The holiday season has passed. You’ve eaten your fill of turkey, pies, and other staples. As February approaches, you start hearing about a holiday called “Groundhog Day”. You might say to yourself, “Isn’t that just a Bill Murray movie?” It is, in fact, a real holiday that you can celebrate from your uptown loft or at the River Oaks District! The whole day and future weather patterns rely on the actions of one animal: the groundhog.

Meet Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog co-handler Ron Ploucha holds up groundhog Punxsutawney Phil after Phil's annual weather prediction on Gobbler's Knob on the 130th Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania February 2, 2016. Punxsutawney Phil, a famed U.S. groundhog with an even more famous shadow, emerged from his burrow on Tuesday and predicted an early spring. REUTERS/Alan Freed

You might think that “Punxsutawney Phil” is the man in this photo. Nope – it’s the groundhog or “woodchuck”. Phil has been predicting whether or not winter will get six more months for since 1841. Essentially, if the groundhog does not come out of his hole, we will have six more weeks of winter. However, if he surfaces, then spring will come early. This particular photo is from last year when Phil predicted that winter would end early. A luxury condo in Houston might not be affected by one animal’s decisions, but it seems we are!


Groundhog Controversy


image of Bill Murray in Groundhog day

The original Groundhog day ceremony is held every year in Pennsylvania. Controversially, New York City has adopted its own ceremony featuring an entirely different groundhog. “Staten Island Chuck” has an 82% success rate over the span of 32 years of predictions! The role has been played by many groundhogs (much like the role of “Phil”). Unfortunately, the ceremony hasn’t always gone smoothly, so mayor Bill De Blasio of NYC forewent the ceremony in recent years.


For those of you might be confused about that last photo: it’s Bill Murray from the film “Groundhog Day.” His character keeps reliving the same day over and over. There’s an entire article dedicated to explaining why the film is a “perfect guide to life.” and a new musical about to premiere on Broadway in NYC. Whether Phil predicts more winter or an early spring this year, you can enjoy the weather on your balcony at your Houston condo.