It happened today at 7:20 AM on Gobbler’s Knob, PA. Punxatawney Phil, the prognosticating groundhog, crawled from his burrow and made his annual prediction and the verdict is: six more weeks of winter.
Where I live, in Western NY, we haven’t even had six weeks of winter yet. So I hope that we’re not going to get it all packed into the next month and a half!
This was Phil’s 126th prediction – well, Phil or one of his family members. Although the folks in Punxsutawney insist there has only been one Phil.
The roots of Groundhog Day stem from Candlemas. From the German prediction “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May…” to an old Scotch couplet, If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, There’ll be twa (two) winters in the year”, people have been looking to shadows on this day to predict the weather.
Punxsutawney, PA held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800s, and made the first official trek to Gobbler’s Knob on February 2, 1887. The tradition has been going on ever since.
According to the Groundhog Day website, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip, who, pior to being called Phil, was called Br’er Groundhog. No word on whether King Phillip was able to predict the weather, too.
Despite Phil’s bummer prediction, the folks in Punxsutawney aren’t letting that stop them from celebrating. They have a full schedule of music, crafts, and parties all day. Which just proves that the weather doesn’t matter when you’re having fun!