Since 1886, every February 2nd, people wait with baited breath for a little ol’ groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil to emerge from his hole in the ground and “predict” how much longer winter will last. Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, then we will have 6 more weeks of winter. However, if he does not see his shadow, we can ready ourselves for an early Spring.
According to this website,
The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather, which they interpolated as the length of the “Second Winter.”
Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs to in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.
Today’s official groundhog verdict is:
Hopefully all my East Coast family and friends will soon get a break from the cold, snowy weather and welcome an early Spring!