What Is Groundhog Day

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A German Legend says that on February 2 if the rodent retreats into its burrow on seeing its shadow, it indicates that winter will continue.

Just before 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Punxsutawney (puhnk-suh-TAW'-nee) Phil emerged from his burrow in Pennsylvania at sunrise and didn't see his shadow. Whether or not he returns to his hole determines an early spring or prolonged winter.

Mother Nature hadn't been all that kind to the region as Groundhog Day approached. That's about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh. If Phil had seen his shadow, some say that means six more weeks of winter.

Since 1887, the Groundhog Day results have been as follows: Phil has seen his shadow 103 times and not seen his shadow 18 times (there are no records for 10 of the years), according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Apparently it was good, too - Edwin Evans-Thirlwell also put it on his game of the year list for us - so handing them the actual Groundhog Day game seems more than appropriate. "Groundhog Day is something you can only find in our commonwealth, and we're honored to share Phil's prediction with visitors, residents, and the millions of families watching from their homes".

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Staten Island Chuck is getting all the attention for his early spring forecast, but the furry creature's new congressman had the most to say Saturday morning during the borough's annual Groundhog Day ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo.

Can't make it to Gobbler's Knob to participate in the day's festivities? Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten at a Groundhog Day ceremony in 2009.

Other cities have their own groundhogs (such as New York's Staten Island Chuck) with varying levels of accuracy to their predictions.