KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Today, February 2nd, is an unusual holiday – especially for those looking in from the outside. Groundhog Day is a tradition which has only gained popularity in the last 50 years, thanks in large part to the major motion picture it is synonymous with.
KMZU’s Brian Lock talked with Liz Bagot, a publicist for National Today, about the ins and outs of Groundhog Day.
Bagot says that the survey her organization conducted asked more than 1,000 Americans to share their feelings about this strange holiday, which has a history stretching back more than 130 years. The survey found that more than half of respondents didn’t know what date Groundhog Day fell on, 30% found Groundhog Day to be a pointless holiday, and 24% said they had never seen a groundhog with their own two eyes.
Groundhog Day has a storied history in the US, dating back more than 100 years to a tradition derived from the German Candlemas, which usually used a hedgehog in place of the groundhog. Punxsutawney Phil is the name of the famous shadow-seer, and he is named after the town where the tradition originates in the US, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.