How To Explain Groundhog Day To An International Student


If you grew up in America, you probably don’t really think twice about Groundhog Day other than to find out if Punxsutawney 5.0 says there’s gonna be 6 more weeks of winter. But for anyone who did not grow up in the US, Groundhog Day is probably the weirdest American event since the election of Donald Trump. UTB took it upon ourselves to educate some of these sheltered students, and here’s how it turned out:

UTB: Groundhog day is when this groundhog Punxsutawney Phil comes outside and if he sees his shadow, it means 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, then Spring is coming soon.

Student: What is a groundhog?

UTB: Good question. It looks kind of like a cross between a squirrel and an otter.

Student: So… it’s not a human. Is the groundhog a meteorologist?

UTB: Not exactly…

Student: Is he like one of those squirrels that’s been spending too much time by the bio pond and now has super powers/hallucinations?

UTB: Interesting theory. We’ll look into that.

Student: How long has Phil been doing this gig?

UTB: As early as 1841. There have actually been several Punxsutawney Phil’s since that time.

Student: What about Punxsutawney Phyllis? What, only men can be meteorologists?

UTB: He’s not a meteorologist.

Student: So this is fake news all over again - an unqualified source is telling us whether or not there will be 6 more weeks of winter. I’d like to see some fact checkers on that.

UTB: It’s more of a ceremonial thing.

Student: If he doesn’t see his shadow, does that mean I have to stop wearing my canada goose jacket?

UTB: That’s not for us to say. But yes.