Is it Time to Ditch Punxsutawney Phil?


Sarah Sevener, Reporter

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Why in the world do we celebrate Groundhog Day?” Maybe you are like me, and cringe at the idea of more winter because, somehow, that is always what Punxsutawney Phil seems to predict.

What started in Germany, as an extension of a Christian holiday, has become nearly an American tradition, or I would even say custom. After all, leave it to America to adopt some of the most obscure holidays. 

But, for such a famed little rodent, Phil only has an accuracy rate of 39%. At what point will we ditch this holiday? Truly, a groundhog cannot predict the weather. I always feel discouraged when he predicts winter (as he has done 107 times, may I add). This over 200 year old tradition seems strongly rooted in our culture, and unfortunately, I think it is here to stay. Every year crowds join for a sliver of hope that our winter is coming to an end.

Now, I will say that it offers a bit of comedic relief throughout the long winter, but it is ultimately unnecessary in my opinion. Given that Puxutawney Phil is usually incorrect, why bother with predictions and news coverage? We most likely will face six more weeks of winter, due to the fact that it occurs on February 2nd, and winter lasts until at least March in the northern United States. 

Taken together, Groundhog Day provides no more than a laugh, or funny moment during the day, and should not be taken seriously as a means of weather forecasting.