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Groundhog Day is here and the verdict is in! Winter is officially here to stay for another six weeks, according to Punxsutawney Phil. If you’re baffled by that statement, we’re here to get you up to speed on what this quirky holiday means and to help you get through the next six weeks of winter. Here’s everything you need to know about Groundhog Day.
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What is Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day is one of the quirkier holidays we celebrate. Every year, people observe a groundhog as it emerges from hibernation. Whether or not it sees its shadow determines if spring will come early or if we'll have to buckle down for a long winter. Groundhog Day traces its roots back to the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas, in which the number of candles given by clergymen would determine the length of winter. This tradition morphed in Germany to use badgers and hedgehogs to determine the length of winter. When German settlers came to America where hedgehogs and badgers were less abundant, they decided to use groundhogs instead.
The biggest Groundhog Day celebration has taken place at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania since 1887. Tens of thousands gather to watch the rodent meteorologist, "Punxsutawney Phil," make his appearance.
When is Groundhog Day 2023?
Groundhog Day is observed annually on February 2. This year, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow at sunrise around 6:30 AM EST.
What does it mean if the groundhog sees its shadow?
It is said that if the groundhog sees its shadow (due to the sky being clear and the sun casting a shadow), there will be six additional weeks of winter. If the groundhog doesn't see its shadow due to cloudy weather, then spring will come early.
Results of Groundhog Day 2023
Thursday morning at sunrise, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow, meaning that it’s predicted that we will have an additional six weeks of winter in the U.S.
Products to get through the next six weeks of winter
1. The classic Groundhog Day movie
As today is Groundhog Day, it’s only right that you stream the famous Bill Murray classic. Did you know that the release of 1993's Groundhog Day sparked a renewed interest in the holiday? Attendance of the event in Punxsutawney soared from around 2,000 in 1993 to an average of 10,000 the following years. If you'd like to watch it to commemorate the holiday, you can stream it online.
2. A snow shovel
Since six more weeks of winter weather are forecasted, there's a good chance you'll have to deal with more snow. Where there's snow, there's a need for a quality shovel to clear it all from your sidewalk and driveway. Even if you have a shovel already, it might be worth looking into one that's more comfortable to use. Enter: ergonomic snow shovels. The best of them is the Snow Joe SJ-SHLV20, which has a dual handle to minimize back pain and a shape that eliminates the dead lift required from most other snow shovels.
3. A snowblower
Snow shoveling can be a drag, especially if you live in an area where snowstorms are frequent. Consider investing in a snow blower to clear snow more efficiently. The Snow Joe SJ625E is the best snow blower you can buy, clearing both huge driveways and tiny sidewalks with ease. As it’s electric instead of gas-powered, it will last a long time without the need for maintenance.
4. A self-heating pet bed
Believe it or not, your pets can get cold, too, especially if they have little to no fur. If you notice them shivering or trying to bundle up, it's best to get something to keep them comfortable for the long winter ahead. To this end, we recommend getting them a self-heating bed. We tried this one and found it to be highly successful in keeping furry friends warm. While it was tested on a dog, we imagine a cat would like it just as much.
5. A space heater
A space heater will help you stay cozy no matter how cold the temperatures outside drop. Just make sure to adhere to proper safety practices when using one. The best space heater we've tested is the DeLonghi HMP1500. It can be wall-mounted, it’s easy to move and provides a great amount of heat for medium-sized spaces.
6. An electric blanket
Given that you shouldn't use a space heater while you're sleeping, you'll need to use something else to stay warm while getting some shuteye. We recommend using an electric blanket, specifically the Sunbeam Velvet Plush Cozy Feet Heated Blanket. This is our favorite electric blanket because of its larger size options, consistent heating throughout the blanket, soft fabric and feet pockets to keep your toes warm as you sleep.
7. Winter boots
Everyone should have a pair of quality winter boots. The best winter pair of men’s winter boots are the Kamik NationPlus Boot. Like any good pair of winter boots, they're both insulated and water-resistant, protecting your feet from the snow. Beyond that, they're quite comfortable. The best pair of women's winter boots are the Sorel Women's Caribou Boots. They have great insulation, a durable rubber sole to keep the rest of the boot away from the snow and feature removable, soft liner.
8. A slow cooker
One advantage of a long winter is that you have more excuses to eat warm meals. Chili? Stew? Whatever warm dish your stomach desires will taste even more satisfying in a quality slow cooker. The Cuisinart 6-Quart 3-in-1 Cook Central Multicooker is the best slow cooker we've tested thanks to its temperature retention, user-friendly interface and convenient handles for carrying. Finally, it's dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean.
9. A humidifier
Along with the cold, there’s another struggle of wintry weather that can be quite uncomfortable: the lack of humidity. Winter air can be very dry, leading to flaky, uncomfortable skin—even nosebleeds. To stay comfortable throughout this last stretch of winter, consider using a humidifier. Out of all the humidifiers we've tested, we found the Levoit Classic 300S to be the best. It boasts a high capacity so you don’t have to add water too often and a high output of moisture, all while being incredibly quiet.
10. An electric kettle
Whether you prefer tea, coffee or hot cocoa to warm you up in the wintertime, an electric kettle makes boiling water easy and quick. Electric kettles don't get much better than the Cuisinart PerfecTemp CPK-17, which sports intuitive controls, short boiling times and several presets to get your brew at the perfect temperature.
11. A travel mug
The hard thing about winter often isn't staying in your home, but rather braving the cold temperature outdoors. To keep yourself warm on the go, we suggest picking up a good travel mug to carry around a hot beverage. When it comes to travel mugs, the Zojirushi SM-KHE48 excels at temperature retention, staying toasty even if left in the mug overnight.
12. A weighted blanket
Nothing quite beats the warm hug that is laying beneath a weighted blanket. To get through the next six weeks warm and relaxed, we recommend using the Gravity blanket. It’s made from high-quality material that will last for a long time. Not to mention, it’s super soft, easy to clean and its weight provides the perfect amount of pressure.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Groundhog Day 2023 results: What to get for a long winter