How To Celebrate Groundhog Day & Honor The Most Hilarious Tradition In America

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I think it's safe to say that Groundhog Day is the most misunderstood American tradition since as far back as you can probably remember. And it's in true American fashion that when it comes to holidays you don't quite get, you do what you do best, and celebrate. What better way to commemorate the annual commencement of spring or dreaded continuation of winter than with a party?

If Feb. 2 comes with nothing more than a standard work day, an anti-climactic lunch, and heated debates over the current state of affairs in the United States, at least you have Groundhog Day celebrations to shake things up a bit.

Do you know the history of Groundhog Day? Do you know who Punxsutawney Phil is? Are you wondering what the hell "Punxsutawney" means? Do you want to know more? Are you curious what it is you get out of this whole thing?

Groundhog Day can be more than a passing meme. Here are seven ways to celebrate this Feb. 2, making it one for the books.

Take A Road Trip

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Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is where it all goes down on Feb. 2. Phil comes out of his burrow bright and early in the morning to see his shadow or not, and thus, determine whether we'll experience six more hellish weeks of cold wind that hurts your face. Believe it or not, it's whole a production in the little town outside of Pittsburgh, and the event draws a pretty big crowd.

If you can call in sick and recruit a friend or two to join in on the spontaneous road trip, do it. It'll be a fun-filled weekend, and you'll get to see Phil in the flesh – cross that one off your bucket list.

If Punxsutawney sounds like a snooze fest, head a little further North to snow-covered mountains or South to the sun, where you can enjoy a little bit extra of what you'll surely be missing when the seasons do change.

Throw A 'Punxsutawney Phil' Party

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Get crafty; get buzzed; get crazy. It's a Punxsutawney Phil Paw-ty! Do you ever really need an excuse to have a party? If you answered yes, it's Groundhog Day — hello! Celebrate the fact that you're alive, and you have friends to share in unforgettable moments like Feb. 2 together. Despite the current state of this country, you have every right to toast to the groundhog that goes by "Phil."

Get Groundhog-Educated

Maybe you don't like groundhogs; maybe you aren't an animal person. Despite your personal opinion, Groundhog Day still matters, and Punxsutawney Phil is still a beacon of national fame. Learn more about Phil, his groundhog ancestry, and why this day is still of importance 130 years later.

Host A Movie Marathon

Columbia Pictures

If you haven't seen the Columbia Pictures classic Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, you must watch this movie from start to finish, at least three times on Feb. 2.

If you haven't seen the Columbia Pictures classic Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, you must watch this movie from start to finish, at least three times on Feb. 2.

If you haven't seen the Columbia Pictures classic Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, you must watch this movie from start to finish, at least three times on Feb. 2.

...See what I did there?

Start A Betting Pool

If you're over 18, contribute to the festivities and element of surprise with an added bonus: a betting pool with your friends. Keep it modest and all in good fun with small donations, and bond over the anticipation of who's going to take home the loot. Will Phil predict more winter, or winter's end? According to his track record, and current weather conditions, it seems to skew left: six more weeks of winter. Say it ain't so, Phil!

Bake Groundhog Day-Themed Treats

Bakerella

Be the teacher's pet, office favorite, or just indulge selfishly while you sit on the couch watching Groundhog Day, and make these cute cupcakes to celebrate Feb. 2. To level up, invite your friends over and have everyone bring something or bake together to make a night of it. It's never really a party until dessert comes out.

Discover The Origins Of Groundhog Day

If you're the kind of person who gets irked by the way Americans get excited over a groundhog and give him the power to decide the climate, crack open a book, kid. Get to know a little bit more about Groundhog Day's connection to astronomy. Walk away feeling more prepared to celebrate — you party pooper — and more educated on this tiny bit of U.S. history.

However you choose to celebrate Groundhog Day on Feb. 2, make it one to remember. When it comes down to it, life is about the welcome surprises and the fun had at every chance you get.