Groundhog Day is celebrated every year on February 2nd. The official groundhog lives in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. His name is Punxsutawney Phil. According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow (the day is bright and sunny), there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow (the day is overcast), there will be an early spring.
On February 2, Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob - in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of season.
The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. It stemmed from a combination of religious beliefs and facts associated with hibernating animals. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day.
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
Good Weather Assured
by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.
When the second of February rolls around,
Out of his hole in the cold, dark ground
Comes Mr. Groundhog to look at the sky
And see if the season of summer is nigh;
So that he in the fields may merrily run
And eat farmers' crops 'neath the light o' the sun.
But if his own shadow he unfortunately sees,
In the greatest of terror he falls on his knees,
And quickly returns to his subterra home,
Resolving that he will not again roam
Till six stormy weeks have slowly gone by,
And then once again, perhaps he will try
To put his flat head above the cold ground,
And take a survey of the earth all around.
So I made up my mind that during the year
I'd keep him at home so he couldn't appear.
And to bring wintry weather he hadn't a chance,
For of his own shadow he caught not a glance.