Groundhog Day wrong in all ways

The yearly tradition is not only useless, but unethical


Photo by Anthony Quintano via Flickr

Caroline Bush

Phil saw the sun, so that means spring is coming early this year! Groundhog Day is a holiday that happens every year on Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. But can this tradition really be called a holiday?

If it can, I think it’s safe to say Groundhog Day is the dumbest holiday. Don’t get me wrong – I think Punxsutawney Phil is an adorable little creature. It’s exciting to be superstitious for a day and believe that a rodent can dictate the weather.

However, I really don’t see the necessity behind this tradition being considered a national holiday. Most holidays have a deeper meaning to them, but Groundhog Day is just simply Groundhog Day. No parties, no commemoration, and no history.

Also, Phil normally doesn’t even predict the weather trends correctly (obviously, since he’s a groundhog). According to the Stormfax Almanac, he only has a 39% accuracy rate. The groundhog has only ever predicted 20 early springs in the nearly 150 years of his job.

Not only is Groundhog Day useless, but the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has actually called for the retirement of Phil. According to Gray News, they suggest replacing Phil with a tree would be a better option for his well-being. 

A letter sent by PETA to the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club explains that Phil has done his time. In his retirement, PETA says Phil would benefit from getting away from the fame – things like noisy crowds, bright lights, and near-constant confinement aren’t good for groundhogs. 

Moreover, PETA says that replacing Phil with a persimmon tree would be pretty close to the same thing since it has a 25% accuracy rate. According to PETA, this would be a much better option than Phil, who has “no idea what the weather will be or at least he’s not telling in ways humans can interpret.” PETA has also offered an animatronic groundhog that would actually be able to predict the weather using artificial intelligence. 

Groundhog Day is unnecessary, unethical, and a way of communicating a flat-out lie to the American public each year. Nevertheless, it’s fun to forget about everything else going on in the world and just focus on a silly tradition, regardless of whether Phil is really a good meteorologist.