Phil emerges and sees his shadow

Allison Hager

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

On Friday, February 2, we will found out if Phil the groundhog will see his shadow when he emerges from his burrow. In the United States, Groundhog Day was first observed in Pennsylvania, according to known records. The earliest mention of Groundhog Day was February 2, 1840, in a journal written by James L. Morris who lived in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. The first reported news of Groundhog Day was in 1886. At the time, the animal had not seen its shadow. It was not until the following year the special story became an official day to celebrate. That year on February 2, a group of people traveled to the town of Punxsutawney to consult the groundhog. Still to this day people visit that same exact spot to celebrate and find out if Phil will see his shadow.

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Crowds as large as 40,000 gather there each year. Forty-Thousand is nearly eight times the towns year round population.

Groundhogs are part of the rodent family. They weigh between 12-15 pounds and can live up to eight years. The animals are omnivores but mostly eat grass, vegetables, and fruits. When the animals emerge from their burrow their intention is to look for a mate, but society has popularized it as a prediction of the upcoming seasons. Freshman Madison Menefee said, “The chances of him showing his shadow is little to none. I guess we will just have to wait and see.”

Update: Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow staring back at him. Him seeing his shadow predicts six more weeks of winter. According to facts, Phil has been right 39% of the time, so I guess we will just have to wait and see.