“Forecasts abound on the Internet,
But I, Punxsutawney Phil, am still your best bet,
Yes, a shadow I see, you can start to twitter,
Hash tag: six more weeks of winter!”
Since 1886, Groundhog Day has been celebrated in Punxsutawney, PA. Each year Phil surfaces from his burrow on February 2. If Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it is a cloudy day and Phil does not see a shadow, then spring is coming.
Groundhog Day comes from German Pennsylvanian folklore. The Inner Circle, the group who cares for Phil and Gobblers Knob, claims Phil has been the prognosticator for 125 years. Groundhogs are projected to live between 6-14 years, nowhere close to 125 years. The holiday is all fun and does not generate much controversy. Although not as popular, Punxsutawney Phil is similar to characters such as the Easter Bunny.
Sir Walter Wally, Raleigh’s representative groundhog, did not see his shadow February 2. A rainy morning left Wally searching for his shadow. The sun was out in the midafternoon, making it unclear if Wally’s prediction was accurate. The Inner Circle claims Punxsutawney Phil as the only groundhog able to accurately predict if winter will continue.
Not everyone understands what and how Groundhog Day came about. Many people also doubt the accuracy of Phil’s prediction. “I don’t notice a difference from Groundhog Day to the next average day. I know people in Pennsylvania take it more seriously, but I haven’t since elementary school,” Leah Behrends, Leesville sophomore, explained.
Bringing up Groundhog Day to Joyce Kreis, Leesville mom, reminded her of a person she knew from Punxsutawney, PA. Kreis said this Pennsylvanian was surprised that Groundhog Day isn’t recognized as much in other places. In Punxsutawney, Groundhog day is a part of their history and culture.