Did the Groundhog See His Shadow Today?! (And What Is Groundhog Day, Anyway?)

Plus, learn about Groundhog Day history, when and where it occurs and more.

Get answers to your most burning questions about the adorable but truly bizarre holiday, starting with the obvious: When is Groundhog Day? And did the groundhog see his shadow in 2023?

When is Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is on Feb. 2 every year. In 2023, Groundhog Day is on a Thursday.

What is Groundhog Day?

On Groundhog Day, the world looks to Punxsutawney Phil, a groundhog, to tell us if we're in for a long and dreadful remainder of winter or if we can expect spring-like weather to come sooner. If Phil sees his shadow, we can expect more cold, dreary weather, and if he doesn't, early spring is allegedly on the horizon.

Did the groundhog see his shadow in 2023?

He sure did! Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Groundhog Day 2023, meaning we have six more weeks of winter!

How did Groundhog Day start?

It is believed that Groundhog Day has its origins in the Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, which would take place halfway between the first day of winter and the vernal equinox (the first day of spring). It was believed that if Candlemas took place on a day with clear, pleasant weather that it was actually indicative of a long winter to come, and clergy members would distribute candles to worshipers in different sizes depending on what the weather prediction was. Hedgehogs would be used to further predict the weather, and German settlers brought the tradition to Pennsylvania.

The first Groundhog Day of known record in the United States was in 1886, and the first celebration of it was in 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhogs were hired as our meteorologists stateside simply because they were much more common here than the other critters—and the typical hibernation cycle for male groundhogs ends in early February when they emerge from their burrows to find mates.

Related: The Real Origin of Groundhog Day

Where is the groundhog kept?

On the 364 days when Punxsutawney Phil isn't working (sweet job if you can get it!), he lives in a terrarium called Phil's Burrow inside the Punxsutawney Library.

Where does Groundhog Day take place?

Punxsutawney Phil checks for his shadow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania each year. However, other localities may have their own groundhogs and celebrations as well.

Are there other famous groundhogs besides Punxsutawney Phil?

There are several other groundhogs with their own Groundhog Day traditions.

Staten Island Chuck

Staten Island Chuck, New York City's resident meteorologist groundhog, is particularly famous for biting then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg's finger in 2009.

In 2014, Chuck was secretly replaced by his daughter, Charlotte. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio dropped Charlotte, and she tragically died days later, though the zoo insisted the fall did not predicate her passing.

Related: Groundhog Day’s Andy Karl: Why You Want to See This Star Again and Again

Dunkirk Dave

Another New Yorker, Dunkirk Dave, is famous upstate for her—yes, her—predictions. Dunkirk Dave's real name is Sidewinder, and her owner, Bob Will, said of her talent, "I have used a groundhog for over 58 years to predict the coming of spring weather. Dunkirk Dave is the second-longest predicting groundhog. Also, the only animal honored on the calendar is the groundhog."

Thistle the Whistlepig

Thistle the Whistlepiglives in Cleveland, Ohio. Her predecessor was the late Lake Erie Eddie.

Buckeye Chuck

Buckeye Chuck, who resides in Marion, Ohio, often predicts early spring.

Jimmy the Groundhog

Jimmy the Groundhog of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, bit the local mayor in 2015, but is usually a pretty nice guy.

General Beauregard Lee

The accomplished and adorable General Beauregard Lee has several honorary degrees from colleges and universities near his metro Atlanta home.

Why do we celebrate Groundhog Day?

Well, why not? The Groundhog Club's Inner Circle of dignitaries (always dressed to the nines on their special day) say it's simply a great way to have fun and relieve ourselves of the monotony (and the potential blues!) that winter can bring.

Related: 8 Crazy Facts About Groundhog Day

Is Groundhog Day a federal holiday?

Unfortunately, no, Groundhog Day isn't a federal holiday.

Is there mail delivery on Groundhog Day?

Yes, you'll still get your mail on Groundhog Day.

Is Groundhog Day accurate?

Studies have shown that generally Groundhog Day only accurately predicts weather and climate patterns about 40 percent of the time, though individual groundhogs' records may vary. You're better off listening to trained meteorologists and climatologists in regard to what to expect from the skies, but we get it. They're usually not nearly as cute!

Next, check out these fun Groundhog Day-themed snacks!