BCA’s Thoughts on Groundhog’s Day 2023 Prediction


Fatima Lira

On February 2, 2023, Punxsutawney Phil, North America’s groundhog, emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow. According to the Groundhog’s Day tradition and superstitions, this could only mean one thing: 6 more weeks of winter.
The unusual holiday of Groundhog’s Day stretches back hundreds of years back to European, starting with German, traditions. Over the years, the holiday has made its way to North America where the current 21st-century holiday is derived from a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition.

2022 Celebration in Punxsutawney, PA

If a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2 and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will make its way back into its burrow, and winter will remain for another 6 weeks. On the other hand, if the groundhog does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring is expected to be around the corner.
Even though Groundhog’s Day isn’t a tremendously celebrated holiday like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Halloween, people around the nation continue to keep up with and hear about Punxsutawney Phil’s annual predictions.
Students at the Bergen County Academies (BCA) were asked about their thoughts on Punxsutawney Phil’s 2023 prediction and how they felt about the holiday as a whole.
“I have always heard about Groundhog’s Day very briefly, but I never thought about it much or considered taking it seriously,” said an AEDT sophomore. “To be honest, I don’t even know how accurate the groundhog is…I guess I just like to hear the prediction for fun, you know.”
An AMST junior agreed as she expressed, “I was really hoping there wouldn’t be an extra 6 weeks of winter. It doesn’t even feel like winter at this point, so the groundhog is probably wrong.”
This stirred many doubts about whether or not Punxsutawney Phil should be considered

NOAA Groundhog’s Day Overview

reliable or not. Studies have found that there was never any direct nor consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the following arrival of Spring. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a 2012 to 2021 study revealed that the nation’s beloved Punxsutawney Phil has a 40% accuracy rate.
Despite this, Groundhog’s Day was and will continue to be a part of North America’s holiday pride and identity. An ATCS sophomore perfectly summed up this fact: “It’s a unique tradition that you can’t really find anywhere else. Accurate or not, hearing the groundhog’s prediction brings a sense of excitement to winter.”