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Groundhog Day 2022

The Shadow Debate Of Groundhog Day 2022 

Commotion began as eager Americans waited to see if Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck would see their shadow, and winter would continue to be around for six  more weeks, or an early spring would arise. Groundhog Day takes place on February 2 each year and is an event that only some believe in. 


Groundhog Day started in 1886, and was first known as a dutch superstition. The belief is that if a groundhog pops up and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, but if there is no shadow, early spring will be upon us. Every year it lands on February 2, which is when Americans believe the groundhogs are ready to give them an answer. 


For years, it has been a debacle between everyone if Groundhog Day  is a hoax. Some believe that this is fake, and an inadequate belief, while others harp in the idea, and get into the spirit for it. Either way, Groundhog Day is still considered a national holiday, which many take off for.


It is also broadcasted on national television where viewers can watch patiently as Phil and Chuck predict the weather's future. Although many do question the accuracy of Phil and Chuck’s predictions, they have been pretty accurate.  “Phil gets it right about 35-40% of the time. Chuck gets it around 80% of the time.”  NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center explains. 


Groundhog Day is not only celebrated in the U.S, but it is also celebrated in Canada. The Canadians relished the idea, and believed it would work for them as well. In 1956, they adopted the idea from America and ever since it has been a special holiday in their country. With their groundhog named Wiarton Willie. 


Although Groundhog Day is enjoyed by many, not a lot of people know who the small creatures are, and how they were chosen to lead Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil is from Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, and resides  in Gobbler’s Knob all year long.  As for Staten Island Chuck, he is from Staten Island and resides at the Staten Island Zoo.


What many individuals fail to realize is there used to be two other  groundhogs. Milltown Mel and Essex Ed. Mel lived in New Jersey died just days before his big debut on Groundhog's Day a few years ago. Mel was loved by many, and had been serving for quite some time before his death.  “Mel has been serving since 2015," Caitlin O’Kane from CBS New stated.


Essex Ed, who resided at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ, died just this year before Groundhog's Day. Turtle Back Zoo was very saddened to be sharing the news. “Essex Ed" has seen his last Groundhog Day at the Turtle Back Zoo,” Eric Kiefer from Patch News stated. 


Although Phil and Chuck are well known, and can predict the season, one does it better than the other. Phil has predicted 30% to 40% right, and Chuck has predicted 80% right. Even though both groundhogs have different prediction percentages, Americans still gather around and go to the festival where Groundhog's Day is held. When they celebrate, there is food, drinks, and live television broadcasting. Others watch in the comfort of their homes awaiting the predictions. Although this year's prediction was a little different. 


Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, last year's Groundhog Day was canceled. Due to recent vaccinations, social distancing, and wearing masks, the officials gave the go ahead for Groundhog Day 2022.


Phil and Chuck both got ready for this year's Groundhog Day, and both predicted differently. Phil saw his shadow meaning sic more weeks of winter, while Chuck did not, meaning an early spring. Many are not sure at this point what it will end up being, but most have their fingers crossed for an early spring, according to the Staten Island Advance.


Chuck and Phil have disagreed on the forecast seven times since 2008, and during that run the Staten Island rodent was wrong only twice,” explained The New York Post.  At this point it is up in the air on whether we will be enduring another six more weeks of winter, or an early spring.