Since February 2, 1887 we turn to our little furry friend, the groundhog, for the weather forecast (well maybe not so little since they can weigh up to 30 pounds). The tradition stems from the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, with candles representing the length of winter. The Germans expanded on this tradition by selecting a hedgehog to predict the weather and German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition but turned to the groundhogs for weather predictions. While this tradition started in Pennsylvania and they declared Punxsutawney Phil the official Groundhog Day meteorologist, here in New York City parks we have our own meteorologists such as, Staten Island Chuck, Flushing Meadows Phil and Corona Kate.
While it seems like The Bronx isn’t home to any of these furry meteorologists, we can rely on our neighboring friends for the forecast, and it looks like Staten Island Chuck has a pretty good forecasting record. If the groundhog sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter, if not spring will soon come.
What are you wishing for, a long winter or early spring?
For things to do this groundhog day check out NYC Parks Events. If you don’t feel like heading to Staten Island for some groundhog sightings and events, you can always see some groundhogs and other rodents by visiting The Bronx Zoo. For other things to do or places to go check out Bronx Happenings and Arts & Culture on Bronx-PR.com.
First Groundhog Day, History.com. Website. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-groundhog-day (2/1/2013)
Groundhog Day in Parks, City of New York Parks & Recreation. Website. http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/groundhog-day (2/1/2013)
Photo: Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. February 10, 2012 – Field Notes. Department of Environmental Conservation. Website. http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/80320.html (2/1/2013)