Every year on February 2nd thousands of people gather in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to celebrate Groundhog Day and see if Punxsutawney Phil will predict six more weeks of winter. Groundhog Day is tradition that goes back over a hundred years starting in 1886. It is said that if Phil sees his shadow on February 2nd then there will be six more weeks of winter and if not then there will be an early spring.
The tradition was started by Clymer H. Freas who was the editor of the local paper called the Punxsutawney Spirit. He created an article in the paper claiming the groundhog could predict the weather and it was soon picked up by other papers around the country. The story continued to grow and soon people looked for Phil’s prediction every year. The event held in Punxsutawney has grown so large that there has been as many as 40,000 people in attendance.
Over the years Phil, whose proper title is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary”, has seen his shadow 100 times and not seen it 17. The party in his honor starts at 3:00 am and continues until he is pulled out of a simulated tree and gives his weather prediction at 7:25 am.
This year Phil saw his shadow signaling six more weeks of winter. Before you get too upset though there is still hope. In true weatherman form Phil is only accurate 37% of the time, so personally I am holding to the hope that Spring can arrive quickly.