Phil Predicts Early Spring

By: Dillon Benson

Saturday, February 2, 2019 Punxsutawney Phil came out of his hole and didn’t see his shadow. According to legend, that means an early spring is headed our way.

While Phil the groundhog isn’t always correct, the idea of predicting the weather in this way has been around for over 100 years. Groundhog Day has been celebrated since 1887, and although it’s celebrated in various places, it is most known for being celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. There are many people that come to Punxsutawney to party in the streets and wait for Phil to come out of his hole to make his weather prediction. After they see his predictions early in the morning, they celebrate a bit before heading home.

According to History.com, Groundhog Day was originally called Candlemas. It’s a Pennsylvania tradition with German history. Originally, people would pass out candles to represent how cold it is, and then the Germans would use a groundhog to predict the weather. The groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, can weigh around eight pounds and are also omnivores. They obviously hibernate, but in the summer they roam freely looking for food and a home.

The Squire hoped to learn more about what the students of Eisenhower expected of Phil this year.  Based on an online Instagram poll conducted, the majority of students thought he was going to see his shadow. In the poll, 53 out of 77 voters, or 69%, said he would see his shadow, but the students of EHS were wrong this time. So Punxsutawney Phil thinks that spring will be coming six weeks early, and although many people may think that the groundhog’s predictions are just a myth, many in Northwestern Pennsylvania are hoping he’s right.Last year Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so he believed there would be six more weeks of winter but he was wrong; we got an early spring. While initially, it seemed like Phil was right and we had some great early spring weather, we were surprised in March with some hail out of nowhere. So, you can’t always believe the groundhogs prediction.

Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania was named after Phil the groundhog and that would be the only right place to celebrate and reveal his prediction. Groundhog’s Day is the biggest gathering in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania by a longshot. There are people who drive from all over the world to be there to see what Phil predicts.  Punxsutawney isn’t very far for Eisenhower it is only 87 miles, which is a 1 hour and 55 minute drive from Russell. So, if you ever want to celebrate Groundhog’s Day, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the place for you

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