NATIONAL — Good news, after a brutal week of winter weather for most of the country, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring!
Today is Groundhog day and legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow when it emerges from its burrow, we'll have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow, spring will arrive soon.
Luckily, Phill "didn't see his shadow." However, no matter what Phil predicts, spring officially arrives in less than seven weeks.
Of course, a groundhog cannot really predict the weather. So here's some history behind the day:
The first official Groundhog Day celebration took place on February 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A local newspaper editor Clymer Freas sold a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters—known as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—on the idea and it became a yearly tradition ever since.
The men trekked to a site called Gobbler’s Knob, where the inaugural groundhog became the bearer of bad news when he saw his shadow.
Nowadays, the yearly festivities are presided over by a band of local dignitaries known as the Inner Circle. Its members wear top hats and conduct the official proceedings in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect. They supposedly speak to the groundhog in “Groundhogese.”
Every February 2, tens of thousands of spectators attend Groundhog Day events in Punxsutawney, a borough that’s home to some 6,000 people. It was immortalized in the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which was actually shot in Woodstock, Illinois.