PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. - The world's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged before chilly revelers in western Pennsylvania Tuesday to see his shadow, meaning winter will last another six weeks.
According to the below article, Phil has been correct only 39% of the time. I am going to hold onto that statistic for dear life, and plan on Spring being right around the corner. I think I’ll head outside now and check to see if any of my Crocuses are peeking through the soggy ground.
Groundhog Day is held on Feb. 2, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania every year, and you might be wondering how a groundhog landed the job of predicting the weather. If you're unfamiliar with the tradition, it goes like this: If the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, sees his shadow, we're stuck with six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, we luck out with an early spring.
The tradition dates back to 1887, and though the origins are unclear, it is said to have originated from ancient European weather lore in which a badger or sacred bear predicts the weather, rather than a groundhog. It also has religious origins, as it shares similarities with Candlemas Dayy, which is also on Feb. 2. According to an old English song, "If Candlemas be fair and bright,/ Come, Winter, have another flight."
Here are five facts you probably didn't know about Groundhog Day:
1. Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, has not seen it 15 times, and nine years are unaccounted for.
2. The National Climatic Data Center reportedly stated that Phil's prediction's have been correct 39 percent of the time. This number is in conflict with Phil's club, which states he's been right 100 percent of the time.
3. According to the funny website, groundhog.org there's a legend that during Prohibition, Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't allowed a drink.
4. In the years following the release of Groundhog Day, a 1993 film starring Bill Murray, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the ceremony takes place.
5. Though groundhogs typically live only six to eight years, Groundhog Day lore suggests that Phil drinks a magic elixir every summer, which gives him seven more years of life.
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