Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter

11719_10152708997256794_6288320919877330924_nPUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, saw his shadow on Monday morning, predicting six more weeks of winter.

Members of the “Inner Circle” announced the furry rodent’s “forecast” around 7:30 a.m. Monday at Gobbler’s Knob.

Groundhog Day, celebrated annually on February 2, is based on a legend that traverses centuries, its origins clouded in the mists of time with ethnic cultures and animals awakening on specific dates. Myths such as this tie our present to the distant past when nature did, indeed, influence our lives. It is the day that the Groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If he sees it, he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his hole.

If the day is cloudy and, hence, shadowless, he takes it as a sign of spring and stays above ground.

The groundhog tradition stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.


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