February 2nd marks the day that Punxsutawney Phil will again awake from a long winter’s nap to give an omen of early spring or late winter. People may have different opinions on the legend of a groundhog seeing his shadow predicting the weather, but here are the facts on exactly how this kind of wacky tradition began:
Groundhog Day’s roots go back to an ancient Christian tradition, involving candles that were used to represent the winter prediction. It had then been expanded on, where Germans chose to use a hedgehog instead. It then carried on to settlers in Pennsylvania, who made the decision of not the small spiky animal, but instead a big and furry groundhog.
The true start of Groundhog Day was in 1887, when a Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania newspaper editor declared their groundhog Phil to be the only accurate meteorologist rodent. Ever since, a line of groundhogs christened the name Phil have since been predicting whether there will be six more weeks of winter, or an early spring.
How, exactly? It depends on whether Phil will see his shadow when he first emerges from his den, and if said shadow is seen then six more wintery weeks will be predicted. It may just be a legend, but perhaps there is a little bit of magic to the furry rodent after all.
Today, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, and it was declared there would be six more weeks of winter. He is only correct about his weather prediction thirty-nine percent of the time, but his opinion has been given to those hardcore believers or his meteorology skills. Now it’s just time to see if he predicted correctly, but maybe get your fluffy coats ready in case!