Punxsutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa.—The Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter early Feb. 2. The town held a big ceremony to continue its tradition since the first recorded celebration in 1886.
Punxsutawney Phil crawled out of his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob and was held by the president of his inner circle, Shingle Shaker Tom Dunkel.
The groundhog made his weather prediction to Dunkel through what the president called “Groundhogese,” the language Phil speaks. From there, Dunkel selected the correct scroll which was read aloud.
“I see a shadow on my stage, and so no matter how you measure, it’s six more weeks of winter weather,” the scroll read.
If Phil didn’t see his shadow, winter would have ended six weeks early and turned into spring.
Groundhog Day started out as a Christian holiday called Candlemas and is typically celebrated in Europe. Christians would take their candles to mass on Feb. 2 to be blessed, which was thought to bring good fortune for the rest of winter.
According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, an English folk song emerged regarding the weather, “If Candlemas be fair and bright, / Come, Winter, have another fight; / If Candlemas brings clouds and rain / Go Winter, and come not again.”
Germany is accredited with bringing an animal into folklore. When they settled into Pennsylvania, they brought their version along.
Alison Patton is a second-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.