February 2nd is known by most to be Groundhog Day, a popular tradition observed in the United States and Canada. The ceremony held at Punxsutawney (PA) is the most frequently attended, focused on a story of an 8 lb. and 16 in. semi-mythical groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil who predicts whether winter will be coming to an end and if spring is right around the corner. According to the NOAA, Phil has correctly predicted the coming of spring 40% of the time. This isn’t the best record; however the people from Punxsutawney say this day is a day for everyone to take everything a little less seriously and break up the winter monotony.
What’s less known is how this holiday is rooted within astronomy and how the Earth rotates around the sun. This date in the Northern Hemisphere marks the midpoint of the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Originally Groundhog Day was celebrated as Cross-Quarter Day which is a Celtic festival due to the midpoint between seasons.
Many may think, why a groundhog? Believe it or not, historically in France and England it was a bear who brought the forecast to the people, while in Germany they looked to a badger. Around the 1800s when German immigrants started to come and settled in Pennsylvania, there were no badgers to be found but there was plenty of groundhogs to make do.
February 2, 2023 – Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow reporting 6 more weeks of winter.
Here at SCC Soft Computer, we like to sometimes separate ourselves from being the leading provider of laboratory information systems (LIS) and one of the largest LIS programming houses in the world, to share some fun facts on topics relative to what’s happening in the world. It’s always good to mix in some lighthearted banter into your daily life.
If you’re interested in learning about SCC’s Blood Services Information System Suite®, please feel free to read our blog post from Tuesday!