Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts more winter ahead

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) -- If you believe in folklore, bundle up for six more weeks of wintry weather.

This is Groundhog Day, and the furry little critter known as Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning. That, according to tradition, means six more weeks of winter.

The apathetic-looking rodent was pulled from his stump by members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle.

They are the local businessmen in the Western Pennsylvania town who carry out the February 2nd ritual while garbed in top hats and tuxedos.

The ceremony was preceded by a boisterous celebration attended by thousands of cold, but happy people, including a few couples who used the occasion to get engaged.

The town of Punxsutawney leads the modern observance of what is essentially a German superstition.

The belief is that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on February 2nd, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter would last another six weeks. If no shadow were seen, legend said spring would come early.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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