Every February 2nd, an adorable groundhog peeks out of his burrow and determines the fate of winter. Adults and children alike can't resist the predictions of this woodchuck called Punxsutawney Phil. Celebrations begin early at Gobblers Knob, where 40 thousand people await the sighting of this squirrel-like animal. Fireworks, food and music start the event that captures the attention throughout the United States and Canada.
This is what Phil is known for each year: If he leaves the heat of his simulated tree trunk and does not see his shadow, winter is over. But if Phil makes his exit and sees his shadow, he'll be scared into returning to his burrow, ensuring six more weeks of winter. Is this fluffy brown groundhog relatively accurate since he mostly returns to his burrow each year?
Phil lives in a comfortable heated burrow in Punxsutawney. He enjoys a diet of dog food and weighs approximately 15 pounds. His wild counterparts eat green plants such as dandelions and clover. The story is told that Phil has been living all these years and has done each prediction himself. The Inner Circle says that he drinks a special punch that enhances his lifespan. Each year he is held up in the air by the Inner Circle who apparently can understand the woodchuck language.
Groundhog Day coincides with Candlemas Day. This is a mid-evil Catholic Holiday that has similarities to Groundhog Day. On this day, candles are blessed, lit and set in each window for passersby to see.
The legend is told, “For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May."
According to the Groundhog Inner Circle, Phil is extremely accurate with a spot on prediction of 100%.
According to Storm Fax Weather Almanac, however, Phil is only accurate 39% of the time. 98 times he has seen his shadow, 15 times he has not seen his shadow and 9 times there was no record. It is said that it is practically impossible to have an early spring, therefore every time Phil returns to his burrow, he is correct. When Phil decides not to return to his burrow, he is wrong. Why Phil would not want to stay out and enjoy the festivities with his fans is hard to understand.
Celebrating Groundhog Day is a tradition. By the time Phil is ready to make his entrance, people are excited about the concept of an early spring. Fans will wait to hear the news for the possible notion that there could be that chance of an early spring. By the time February rolls around, folks are certainly happy for any diversion they can get. After all, this sweet groundhog wouldn't let his fans down.