Each year, people hoping for good news come out on the special day of February 2, halfway through the winter season, to see if a weather-predicting groundhog will see its shadow. That means he's predicting an early spring.
While enjoying an early spring might sound like a good idea for outdoor activities, it can wreak havoc on agriculture, in particular when it comes to tricking crops into blooming early.
Germans used a badger to predict the weather but when the tradition came to the USA, a groundhog was used.
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Hardcore locals stood out in the 12 degree temperatures to see just how long the chilly temps will last, a prediction only Phil makes.
He famously bit former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the ceremony in 2009. "He's been on the job for more than 130 years and is the nation's favorite furry weather forecaster". Unless you happen to be the president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club - and holding the special ancient acacia wood cane.
Canadians celebrate Groundhog Day, too.
The tradition came to North America when German immigrants arrived in what is now the eastern state of Pennsylvania. Is it an early spring or just more snow. "Someone has to nominate you and then you need to be approved by a Groundhog Day committee".
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This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day, an early Christian holiday involving candles.
Men from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club inner circle, a prestigious group made up of the who's who in Punxsutawney, take care of Phil all year and plan the big event.
The event now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Every year, thousands of people from across the U.S.travel to Punxsutawney. But when he wakes up the next morning, he discovers it is Groundhog Day again, and he ends up inexplicably living it over and over again, though no one else knows.
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