On a day when much of the country woke up to a thick blanket of snow, it may be hard for many people to believe that spring will come early this year.
That is the prediction of Prognosticator of Prognosticators, Punxsutawney Phil, the world-famous groundhog who makes weather predictions every February 2. Today, Phil did not see his shadow, meaning spring in on its way.
The start of spring season begins with the “Spring Equinox” when the north pole starts its point towards the Sun. For the year 2011, start of spring is March 20, 46 days, six to seven weeks away. According to the Groundhog Club, Punxsutawney Phil is correct 100% of the time.
After casting a joyful eye to his followers gathered before him, Phil proclaimed, “If you want to know next, you must read my text.” The prediction, “As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me, six more weeks of winter it will be.”
Thousands of people braved the cold of Gobbler’s Knob, Penn. to watch the groundhog give his annual weather prediction and celebrate the 125th anniversary of Groundhog Day.
According to legend, if the groundhog comes out if his hole early on the morning of Feb. 2 and is not scared back inside by his shadow, spring will come early. If he does see his shadow, then people should prepare for six more weeks of winter.
The event began with a small group known as the Inner Circle and has grown to an internationally-watched celebration that brings as many as 30,000 people to Punxsutawney, Penn. a community some 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Groundhog Day is closely linked to Candlemas, an early Christian celebration where people would bless and hand out candles. A clear sky on Candlemas meant the winter would be long and cold. Romans cooped the holiday during the conquests of Central Europe and brought the tradition to Germany, where the traditional changed to involve a hedgehog predicting the weather based on his shadow. German immigrants brought their tradition to Pennsylvania, where in 1887 a Punxsutawney newspaper editor declared the local groundhog to be the ultimate weather authority.
Candlemas became Groundhog Day and the groundhog, named Phil by the newspaper editor, became an international star.What people are talking about.Story about start of spring 2011.