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Groundhog Day 2020

It’s nearly that time of year when we find out if we will have six more weeks of cold winter or if we will have an early spring.  Groundhog Day 2020 is on Sunday, February 2nd and Punxsutawney Phil will venture out and predict when winter is coming to an end.

The first Groundhog Day was on February 2nd, 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and it has since become a local and national tradition.  The origin of Groundhog Day can be traced back to a German tradition called Candlemas Day where it was believed if the weather was cloudy that day, winter would be over soon and if it was sunny, then there would be six more weeks of winter.

Eventually, the large German population in Pennsylvania adopted this tradition into Groundhog Day.  A groundhog living in Punxsutawney in a burrow known as Gobbler’s Knob became the mascot for the town and when he emerged from his hole on February 2nd, he would predict when winter was ending.  If Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, then there would be six more weeks of winter, and if he did not see his shadow, then there would be an early spring that year.  To this day, the tradition of Groundhog Day is kept alive and Punxsutawney Phil still lives in the burrow at Gobbler’s Knob.

While we anxiously await Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction, here are some popular movies and TV shows that use the concept of the same day repeating over and over, known as the Groundhog Day time-loop.  In most cases, the characters keep reliving the same day until they learn a valuable lesson about themselves.

The first and most famous movie to use this time-loop format was called ‘Groundhog Day,’ starring Bill Murray.  In the movie, Murray plays a weatherman sent to cover the Groundhog Day festivities in Pennsylvania when a snowstorm traps him in the town and he keeps repeating the same day over and over.  Other films with the time-loop storytelling technique include ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ with Tom Cruise, ‘Before I Fall’ and ‘Happy Death Day.’

Several television shows also use the Groundhog Day time-loop format on certain episodes, including the episode “Life Serial” on the series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and “Déjà vu All Over Again” from the TV show ‘Charmed.’  “Hell Is Other People,” from the show ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and “Hot Mess Time Machine” from ‘The Mindy Project’ also see the main characters reliving the same day over and over again until having an epiphany.

Are you hoping that Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, or are you hoping for an early spring this year?  Find out on February 2nd!

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