Groundhog Day: Facts and Fiction

We celebrate Groundhog Day on February 2nd. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

In many parts of the United States, early morning festivals are held to watch the groundhog emerging from its burrow.

According to Wikipedia, “The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day, already a widely recognized and popular tradition, received widespread attention as a result of the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was set in Punxsutawney and portrayed Punxsutawney Phil.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, Groundhog Lodges (Grundsow Lodges) celebrate the holiday with fersommlinge, social events in which food is served, speeches are made, and one or more g’spiel (plays or skits) are performed for entertainment. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel, dime, or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table.”

Susanna Leonard Hill, author of the popular children’s picture book, Punxsutawney Phyllis, is having a celebration of her own. All over the world, her followers will be taking their Punxsutawney Phyllis paper groundhog doll outside to see if it will cast a shadow or not.


As you can see, it was sunny this morning in Colorado Springs. Punxsutawney Phyllis, accompanied by several of her friends, did NOT see her shadow…she was facing the other way! I, on the other hand, did see her shadow…but I’m not a groundhog, so I don’t believe that counts.

Whatever you believe about Groundhog Day, I hope you will check out Susanna’s wonderful picture book, available at Amazon. Sweet and funny and adventuresome, Susanna’s little groundhog will capture your heart.


If you visit her website today, you’ll be able to track Phyllis’ adventures on this Groundhog Day of 2013. I wonder where she has been?



Please take a moment to visit Nancy’s website and VOTE! There are seven finalists. I know you will enjoy reading about how others carve a place to do their thinking and writing.

This was my entry:

goals,writer's desk competition,vivian kirkfield

I WRITE, THEREFORE I AM by Vivian Kirkfield

A writing space by any name does serve me well.

By lamplight or with sunlight streaming

Ideas flourish while I’m dreaming.

From mind to pen words quickly teeming

Pages fill with stories beaming.

In quiet or with children screaming

Cluttered desk or table gleaming

I’ve found my heaven…not to write would be my hell

Happy Groundhog Day…whether winter lasts six more days or six more weeks or six more months, we can have sunshine in our hearts and smiles on our faces…please make a positive impact on those you touch. For parents, this is especially important. Winter days may seem to drag on. Bad weather may keep the kids inside. Here’s a GREAT plan:

book pic from wordpress blog

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on February 2, 2013, in Groundhog Day, Writer's Desk Competition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. Congratulations on being a finalist, Vivian! I loved your entry! And what a wonderful picture of Phyllis! Of course she couldn’t possibly see her shadow 🙂 At 7:25 on Blueberry Hill she couldn’t see it either because the sun was barely peeking over the edge of the world 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing Phyllis and her story and her contest with everyone! 🙂 Now I’m going to vote! Happy Groundhog Day! 🙂


    • P.S. If forgot to mention how much I like that little notebook on your desk 🙂


      • I thought you might notice that.:) I used it for PiBoIdMo…not only for my pb ideas (one of which I am almost finished writing and I love it), but also for notes about the 30+ guest posts Tara had during the challenge. Using it was an inspiration to me in itself because I felt it connected me to you and the rest of this wonderful kid lit community.:)


    • I loved the paper-doll cutout idea, Susanna…I wondered what I could offer parents and kids on my website as a freebie…now I think I could come up with activity pages that parents could print out for the kids to color or cut out and put together…I will give it some thought.:)You will love the entries in Nancy’s contest…they are all wonderful! And thanks for voting.:)


      • I have other things on my website, too, Vivian – coloring pages, mazes, word searches, madlibs, etc… You are welcome to link to any of them – they’re all on the School Visit page under resources – if that is helpful. Or you can just look at the different things I have in case that inspires ideas for your own things!


  2. Love your poem and the book suggestions. Always fun to read about holidays.


  3. Catherine Johnson

    Love your poen, Vivian!


  4. Hi Vivian,
    I voted! I see you’re winning the race. Loved the poem, and you did it in 55 words.
    Love Phyllis nestled in among her “friends”.
    And as you saw your shadow, I think that counts. LOL
    Tracy 🙂


  5. Wow – that Punx… whatever … is quite a mouthful for a littley!
    Groundhog day is known only to us from the recurring incidence of it in a certain movie. 🙂
    Congrats on your ‘Scripto Ergo Sum’ entry to Nancy’s competition – it sums it up beautifully in 55 words.


  6. Good luck! I have my fingers crossed for you! HEY! Phyllis saw her shadow! 🙂


  7. Thanks for a FUN Groundhog Day post, Vivian!

    Hope a few of your faithful fans, followers, and friends will stop by, read the submissions, and vote. 😀


  8. Love your post in so many ways! Love the groundhog day facts, love the picture of Phyllis with her buddies, love your good news, and your beautiful “I Write…” poetry!


  9. Congratulations on being a finalist! I’m sure Phyllis enjoyed visiting with her friends…


  10. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    What lovely cuddly friends Phyllis has at your house! And she was all dressed in her exciting party wear. She can go to Mardi Gras next! 🙂


  11. Beautiful poem, Vivian. You’re right about the shadow, it only counts if you’re a groundhog!


  12. Vivian, your picture is a fun one. On such sunny day, Phyllis need support in distracting her from seeing her shadow. Well done. I voted and think your poem touches the sensibilities of writers. We write (or at least want to very much) because we must. Good job!


    • I appreciate your kind words, Pamela…thanks for taking the time to vote. I loved the contest because it helped me to write in a different way than I normally do…and it was lovely to be recognized by Nancy as one of the finalists. I read all of the entries, not only the seven that made the finals…everyone poured their hearts into their submissions…it was a great writing prompt.:)


  13. Congratulations on being a finalist, Vivian. I stopped by and voted for your lovely poem. Excellent “Groundhog Day” post and photo of Phyllis and friends. Thanks for the smile, too – “she didn’t see her shadow :-)”


    • I appreciate that, Alayne…I know how busy you are…thanks for voting.:) And I love Susanna’s contests and special events…they are always fun and full of ‘community-building’…just like Sub Six!


  14. I will go and vote. Yours has to be the best! Absolutely wonderful! Loved your Phyllis, too. How funny and sweet. Very well done! I hope you win. Let us know. 🙂


    • You are so sweet, Robyn…all seven were unique in their own way…but I appreciate the cheering committee.:) Thanks or voting…and for the vote of confidence. Glad you liked my Phyliis Groundhog Day post!   


  15. Vivian, first of all, I love your author photo! You look so glamorous! I also love that Phyllis has some stuffed, furry friends. 🙂

    Great poem about your writing space too!


  16. I love your poem…and I agree with the last line!

    The pics of Phyllis are so cute! She looks like she is having a great time.

    Your writing space is so organized!


  1. Pingback: Groundhog Day – Happy 10th Anniversary, Punxsutawney Phyllis! | Picture Books Help Kids Soar

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