Groundhog Day History, Facts
and Educational Resources

Add an educational twist to any birthday party, holiday celebration, or theme party.  Share the history of the Groundhog Day theme to the guests.  Play some free printable educational party games.  Shhh don't tell the kids that they are learning!

The history of Groundhog Day began in Pennsylvania in the 18th or 19th century. It began as a custom of the Germans who were living in southeastern and central Pennsylvania. Its origins date back to ancient European stories of weather, wherein the sacred bear or badger emerged from a burrow. If the day was a cloudy one, the badger would leave his burrow and that signified that winter would end soon. But if it was a sunny day when he emerged, he would see his shadow, and that meant that winter was going to stick around for a while, and he returned back into his burrow for another six weeks.

The holiday is similar to the festival of Imbolc, which is a seasonal turning point in Paganism for the Celtic calendar, and also is somewhat similar to Candlemas, which is a medieval Catholic holiday.

The largest celebration of this day is in the town of Punxsutawney, in Pennsylvania, and it was even featured in the movie Groundhog Day.

The earliest reference to the day was found in the diary of a storekeeper named James Morris, and it was dated February 5, 1841. It referenced Candlemas, or the Purification of the Virgin, but named the groundhog as the prognosticator, rather than the badger or bear.

A television meteorologist, Mike Randall, stated that there will always be six additional weeks of winter after the February 2nd holiday, so the idea of an early spring does not really exist. So, when the groundhog sees its shadow, predicting six more weeks for the winter season, he is always right. When he doesn’t see it, and he predicts an early spring, he is always wrong. The rate of accuracy of the groundhog is 80%, and this is also the percentage of the times he sees his shadow. The history of Groundhog Day has a different interpretations by each person. This is general facts about Groundhog Day.
The Party Supplies Hut has more free elementary educational teacher resources for Groundhog Day to use in the classroom for active learning to create lesson plans with trivia questions, games and fun activities.

History of Groundhog Day
More Groundhog Day holiday educational teachers classroom resources: 

Groundhog Day Party Games
Groundhog Day Word Find
Groundhog Day Word Search
Groundhog Day Word Scramble
Groundhog Day Party Ideas
Groundhog Day Party Supplies
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