Punxsutawney Phil Philadelphia Inquirer 2019
Yes--it's Groundhog Day 2019! February 2nd is also known as Candlemas Day--40 days after Christmas. According to German tradition, if a groundhog comes out of his quarters on this day and sees his shadow, he returns to his underground home for an additional six weeks of slumber. If the day is cloudy he'll stay outside to enjoy the moderate weather. In Germany the badger was watched for his weather prediction. Early German settlers in Pennsylvania selected the groundhog for their February 2nd weather forecast.
Festivities on Groundhog Day are fun-filled events, and records tend to show that groundhog predictions are not entirely reliable. Punxsutawney Phil's forecast today was that Spring is on the way. To those of us in Pennsylvania and many parts of the USA, that's good news, as our recent weather has included snow and very low temperatures thanks to the Arctic Vortex.
However, two other more local groundhogs have predicted that we have six more weeks of winter ahead of us. Meet Octoraro Orphie of Quarryville, PA and Mount Joy Minnie of Mount Joy, PA.
Orphie makes his forecasts with the support of the Hibernating Governors of the Slumbering Groundhog Lodge in Quarryville.
Photo: Lancaster Online.com
Mount Joy Minnie is shown with her handler Nancy Shonk. Minnie is a "real" puppet who leads the Groundhog Day celebration started in Mt. Joy in 2008 by Bob Myers. After Mr. Myers passed away in July 2008, future festivities were not held until 2010 when his widow, Sharon Myers, gave her blessings to resume the tradition her husband founded.
Photo: Mount Joy Minnie Town Lively article by Diane Bitting