· De Alan Coughlan
This Little Guy Can Predict the Weather
Are you familiar with Groundhog Day? No, we’re not talking about the Bill Murray movie where he lives one day over and over again. Where talking about the actual day that the movie was based on.
Groundhog Day is a popular tradition both in the US and in Canada. On this day, the most popular groundhog of Pennsyvania, Punxsutawny Phil, comes out of his burrow to “predict” what the weather will be like.
If Phil sees his shadow, then it is said that the US will have 6 more weeks of winter, but if there is no shadow, then an early spring can be expected.
Groundhog Day happens on February 2nd, and it’s a truly special day for the citizens of Punxsutawney which has a population of less than 6,000. Despite the cold weather, revelers gather at Gobbler’s Knob as early as 1am. Then just after daybreak, Punxsutawny men wearing top hots and suits pull good old Phil from his burrow in front of around 40,000 tourists who watch him predict the weather.
But even before the actual day itself, the celebrations are already underway the night before. These include banquets, a “Phil Drop” ala Times Square at midnight and fireworks.
No groundhog has ever received so much attention as Punxsutawny Phil. And although he may be oblivious to the commotion about him, Groundhog Day certainly brings a smile to thousands of faces every year.
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