While enjoying an early spring might sound like a good idea for outdoor activities, it can wreak havoc on agriculture, in particular when it comes to tricking crops into blooming early. Weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas, where the badger is viewed as a forecasting animal.
That's his typical prediction: It's only happened more than 100 other times in the 132-year history of the tradition.
Don't pack away your winter coats just yet - Punxsutawney Phil says there's going to be six more weeks of winter. Mayor de Blasio famously dropped the Staten Island groundhog during the 2014 ceremony.
"Punxsutawney Phil" - the groundhog - takes center stage at "Gobbler's Knob" every year on February 2 to determine how long winter will stick around.
The groundhogs agree! Six more weeks of winter.
This year, meteorologists predicted we'd be in for more cold.
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I guess the feast was more of a Roman Catholic tradition that America seems to have lost to the passing of time, or it was just surpassed in the progress of our culture by cute furry animals seeking their shadows.
Groundhog Day is said to come from a European tradition called "Candlemas". "Someone has to nominate you and then you need to be approved by a Groundhog Day committee".
How is Groundhog Day celebrated?
Phil's handlers, known as "The Inner Circle", cajoled him out of his hole to issue his forecast as the sun rose.
Phil's prognostication, which was delivered at about 7:20 am EST, was met with a mix of cheers and groans from thousands of revelers on Friday who gathered in the town of Punxsutawney about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Before the 1993 Bill Murray movie was released, only 2,000 people traveled to Punxsutawney every year to join in the celebration. But when he wakes up the next morning, he discovers it is Groundhog Day again, and he ends up inexplicably living it over and over again, though no one else knows.