Happy Groundhog Day!


Happy Groundhog Day
My son’s first Groundhog Day in 2021! Then anxiously awaiting Phil’s prediction with his new sister in 2022!

Ever wonder what Groundhog Day is all about? Ever ask yourself, “Why is this holiday even on my calendar?” Well, look no further my friends. As an official Phil Ambassador from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, I am here to answer your burning questions about this obscure holiday!

Groundhog Day has been around for over 130 years, first starting as Candlemas Day in the rural hills of Pennsylvania. Early members of the town chose a groundhog (the official rodent of the state — don’t fact-check me) to personify an old German lure that if small rodents saw their shadow, it predicted that spring was around the corner.

To really make you an expert, here are some common myths about this quirky day each year to impress your friends:

  1. It’s “Groundhog Day”; not “Groundhog’s Day,” “Groundhogs Day,” or “Whistlepig Day” (though this is a common nickname).
  2. The official language of this furry friend is Groundhogese and the only human that can interpret Phil’s prediction is one man in the Groundhog Club Inner Circle.
  3. Phil is the original Phil from the first Groundhog Day. He drinks the Elixir of Life every year to continue to stay healthy for the next celebration.
  4. Phil had a body double for the movie that made his special day famous on the big screen. He did meet Bill Murray after the movie aired, but we don’t talk about their meeting (someone got bit, I’ll let you guess who).

Though we are hundreds of miles from Gobbler’s Knob (where Phil will awake from hibernation to give us his prediction in the early hours of February 2nd), we can still celebrate the meaning of the day in sunny South Carolina. The real lesson to learn from this day isn’t if spring will see us soon, but rather to serve as a lighthearted and silly day to look forward to between the winter and spring seasons.

If it sounds absurd to hold up a small rodent and talk to it, it’s because it is! It’s a fun reason to wake up and anticipate a grand prediction that we can’t control and to make bets with each other about what he will say. It’s a great reason to stop and think about what else you’d like to do in the winter before it’s gone or maybe why you’re looking forward to the change in season. Most of all, it’s a fun holiday to celebrate with kids while learning about the weather, groundhogs, and just to laugh! During the short, dark days of winter, it can just be an excuse to anticipate a great parade and celebration of a goofy little groundhog.

I hope you all gained a greater appreciation for Groundhog Day and join me in celebrating this year!

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Tina Plemmons
Residency training brought Tina to Charleston and after securing her full-time dream job as a clinical pharmacist, she couldn’t leave. Tina was born and raised in Punxsutawney, PA and attended the University of Pittsburgh before coming to the Lowcountry in 2014. She also holds several fitness and coaching certificates: Crossfit Level 1, USA Weightlifting Level 1 and Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism, that she used to coach Crossfit locally. She and her husband Andrew call West Ashley home, along with their two bulldogs, Bosworth and Jackson, and their two young children, Reid and Charlotte. Motherhood has reignited her passion for writing in her "free time" - fueled by lots and lots of coffee.