"As I look around me, a bright sky I see, and a shadow beside me. Six more weeks of winter it will be!" - This was the prediction from "Punxsutawney Phil", the legendary groundhog on February 2nd, the official Groundhog Day.
Thousands of people gathered in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to watch officials pull "Punxsutawney Phil" out of his burrow and see if he could see his shadow.
According to an old legend if he sees his shadow, he will be frightened and go back to his hole, extending winter by another six weeks. If not, spring is around the corner.
While a typical groundhog lives for only 6-8 years, "Punxsutawney Phil" is 122 years old, thanks to a magic potion he drinks every summer, that helps elongate (extends) his life for an additional seven years. In the last 110 years, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times and not seen in only 14 times. There are no records of the first twelve years. Officials in this small Pennsylvania town claim that Phil's weather predictions are 100% accurate.
Groundhog Day was started by German Settlers in Pennsylvania. Before they came to the United States, they used to call it Candlemas and have the same tradition using a hedgehog or badger. When they arrived in America, they started using a groundhog.
In case you are wondering what a groundhog is, it is the same as a Woodchuck, Land Beaver or Whistlepig. Related to the squirrel, groundhogs mainly eat green plants and typically measure between 17 to 26 inches in length and weigh between 2-4lbs.
We don't know whether "Phil" is a good predictor of the weather, but he sure attracts a lot of people to watch him make the prediction. Watch the fun video below of the February 2nd 2008 prediction ceremony.