Groundhog Day - Groundhog day

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Martí Micolau

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February 2 in the United States (and Canada) is celebrated on Groundhog Day, that is to say, the Groundhog day. According to the beliefs, during this day it is necessary to observe a marmot: if when it comes out of its den it can see its shadow and therefore the sky is clear, the winter will last a long time; this is because in the North American winter, days with clear skies are synonymous with very low temperatures. If, on the other hand, the sky is cloudy and the marmot does not see its shadow, the winter will soon end.

The epicenter of this day is southeastern Pennsylvania, where authorities deliver speeches, serve food, and listen to music. In this event, only the Pennsylvania German dialect is spoken and if someone speaks English during the day, they pay a penalty, usually a nickel (5 cents), a dime (10 cents) or a quarter (25 cents), for each word. pronounced.

The most important festival is held in punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, famous for being the set of the 1993 film, Groundhog Day, "I start all over again" in the Spanish version, with the famous actor Bill Murray. Every 2 February a crowd of about 40.000 people has gathered to celebrate this holiday since 1886, in this town that usually has just over 6.000 inhabitants and is located in Jefferson County, 135km northeast of Pittsburgh.

This holiday began in the 18th century, in central and southeastern Pennsylvania, and has its origins in European weather traditions where a badger or bear made the forecasts.

A Canadian study in 13 cities states that the groundhog predictions turn out to be correct in 37% of cases.

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