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Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

groundhog.jpgFebruary 2 is celebrated as Groundhog Day in North America. On this day, the world’s most famous rodent, Punxsutawney Phil predicts whether winter is drawing to an end or will last for another six weeks. According to Punxsutawney Phil, the USA can expect six more weeks of winter and forget about an early spring because he did see his shadow. Punxsutawney Phil on this day can expect to have his own contingent of paparazzi as hordes of newspaper reporters and photographers head to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Phil’s hometown, to see what his prediction will be.

When he came out of his burrow, in this case, an electronically heated cage, there were more than 30,000 fans waiting to get a first look at his shadow or lack thereof – for 2008 – his shadow was what they got. According to tradition, Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction of winter to the only person who can understand him – a representative of the Groundhog Club.

The official celebration of Groundhog Day dates back to 1887. However, the ceremony, held on Gobbler’s Knob, a short distance away from Punxsutawney, was only revealed to the general public in 1966; prior to this the only thing made public was Phil’s prediction.

Phil’s predictions are actually recorded and it is said that he has seen his shadow between 85 to 90 percent of the time. Analysts claim however, that he has only been right about 49 percent of the time – but don’t tell that to the residents of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who say their Phil is always on the money.

Canadians on the other hand, who also celebrate Groundhog Day on February 2, is in for an early spring as their groundhog weatherman, an albino named Wiarton Willie, didn’t see his shadow at all.

Now, go grab Bill Murray’s entertaining movie, Groundhog Day and have a laugh, after all, it’s still Groundhog Day for another couple of hours.

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