Groundhog Sees Shadow

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Punxsutawney Phil, the famous weather predicting Groundhog, has seen his shadow which means that there will be six more weeks of winter.

Every second of February a groundhog named Phil rises out of his hole to either see or not see his shadow. The result can welcome an early spring or can continue the winter. 

Groundhog Day was first celebrated in 1886. The holiday originates from the Christian religious holiday, Candlemas Day, which involves Christians bringing candles to their church to be blessed in hopes of spring coming early. At first there was no mention of any animal being a part of the celebration until the holiday was introduced in Germany where a badger was used. Dutch settlers brought the groundhog onto the scene. German and Dutch settlers that came to the United States brought this tradition with them and the holiday event has been held annually since. 

Today the largest gathering happens in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A crowd around 40,000 gathers each year to watch. In years past people from all over North America have been able to watch the proceedings via live stream, connecting Phil to people around the world.  This year however the event was done all virtually with no crowd in attendance. 

How does Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction affect students here at Snow College? Located in Ephraim, Utah; Snow College experiences cold winters. When asked about Groundhog’s Day, sophomore student Peyton Reynolds said, “I hope for early spring but environmentally it would be better for a longer winter.” Fellow student Tia Lee agreed, “I want spring but we probably need more winter.” With the results from this year’s Groundhog Day, we can expect six more weeks of winter before we can welcome in spring. 

Groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter. Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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