Groundhog handler John Griffith holds famed weather prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil before Phil makes his annual weather prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on the 126th Groundhog Day, February 2, 2012. Phil saw his shadow, signaling six more weeks of winter. (Photo : REUTERS/Jason Cohn)
The month of February holds a lot of different meanings to many people. For some, it's a month to either celebrate love and Valentine's Day or become nauseated from the bombardment of Valentine's Day advertisements and post-Valentine's candy. Others see this month as the time to commemorate the great accomplishments and contributions of our past presidents during President's Week or to learn about the many achievements of African Americans during the month-long celebration of Black History. However we can't forget that one of the biggest days of the month is dedicated to a very special furry animal.
Each year on February 2, Americans and Canadians await the weather prediction for the next six weeks based on a groundhog's shadown. As the tradition goes, if a groundhog comes out of his hole and sees his shadow on February 2, then we will have six more weeks of winter weather. However, if the groundhog doesn't come out of his hole and/or doesn't see his shadow, then we will have an early spring.
The most famous weather predicting groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Penn. Each year about 40,000 people turn up to see Punxsutawney Phil emerge from his hole. Other states also celebrate Groundhog Day with their own special events. In New York, Dunkirk Dave is touted as the groundhog with the world's second-longest weather predicting tradition. In Alberta, Canadians wait to see Balzak Billy's shadow. In Ohio, it's Buckeye Chuck; Sir Walter Wally is Raleigh, North Carolina's resident groundhog; in Alabama, their groundhog is Birmingham Bill and in Atlanta Ga., General Beauregard Lee makes his annual Groundhog Day prediction.
Tomorrow marks the 127th celebration of Groundhog Day.