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Groundhog Day 2013: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning

 

Punxsutawney's famous groundhog predicted spring will come early this year, according to ABC.

When Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his dwelling at Gobbler's Knob Saturday morning, he did not see his shadow.

According to the myth, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if he does not, spring is right around the corner.

Last year on Groundhog's day, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter while Woody, Michigan's Official Groundhog, called for an early spring.

Groundhog Day and other similar legends are based on the beliefs of Europeans, but the true origins of the holiday are lost in time. The day originated from the Germans, Scots and early Christian Europeans.

Groundhog Day as we know it in the U.S. started because the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers wanted to know if spring was coming early or not. That information helped them decide when they should plant seeds and half their hay.

Europeans used hedgehogs as the animal that determined the season change but Pennsylvania Dutch farmers chose the groundhog because they were found in greater numbers in North America. Groundhog Day stemmed from the ancient traditions of Candlemas, a holiday that originated in early Christian Europe that was celebrated by the Germans.

In central Pennsylvania, the people of Punxsutawney hold celebrations as they wait for Punxsutawney Phil, the native groundhog resident of the town, to come out of his burrow and check for his shadow.

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