Friday, February 4, 2011

Is it Groundhog Day again?

Good Friday Morning! I hope this note finds you well and in good spirits!

If you missed it, Wednesday was Groundhog Day!

Yes, I'm from Pennsylvania so I have to blog about my good friend... Punxsutawney Phil! To the relief of the winter-weary, the world's most famous groundhog predicted an early spring. (right now I'm cheering while I write this)

Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn on Groundhog Day to make his 125th annual weather forecast.

Now, here's the back-story, Phil has seen his shadow 98 times and hasn't seen it just 16 times since 1887. With that said let's hope he's right!

If you guys don't know the celebration takes place on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. (it's actually a really cool little town, if you've never been)

The celebration is rooted in a German superstition that says if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early.

Zoological data suggests that groundhogs (like Phil) have a average lifespan of 10 years in captivity and 6 years in the wild, with a maximum lifespan of 14 years in captivity documented.

Punxsutawney Phil fans say that there is only one Phil (all the other groundhog weathermen are impostors), also every summer, Phil is fed a sip of the mysterious Groundhog Punch, which magically lengthens his life for seven years. This is done by Inner Circle members of the Groundhog Club. According to the Groundhog Club, Phil, after making the prediction, speaks to the Club President in "Groundhogese", which only the Inner Circle appear to understand, and then his prediction is translated for the entire world.

The celebration usually draws 10,000 to 15,000 spectators when it falls on a weekday. I've been to the event twice and can say it's truly a blast, so if you’re in the "good ole" Keystone State on February 2nd...check it out!



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