Punxsutawney, PA (JFK+50) Germans, the first settlers of Pennsylvania, brought from Europe the celebration of Candlemas Day. They said "For as the sunshines on Candlemas, So far will the snow swirl in May."
Their custom was to have clergymen bless candles and give them out to the people. From Candlemas came Groundhog Day when a groundhog emerges from his burrow and if he sees his shadow predicts six more weeks of winter.
February 2nd, 1886 was the first date of this annual event, and this morning the 130th trek of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club to Gobbler's Knob was completed.
Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring in "Groundhogese"...
"The inner circle goes to great ends
To keep me abreast of latest trends
Down in my burrow I never get bored
Riding on my hover board
And I sure have fun flying my drone
But weather forecasting is my comfort zone
Is this current warm weather more than a trend?
Per chance this winter has come to an end?
There is no shadow to be cast,
An early Spring is my forecast!
Although the lifespan of the average groundhog is from 6 to 8 years, Punxsutawney Phil is given a magical drink of punch every summer which extends his life another seven years.
"Groundhog Day 2015: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter," by Angela Fritz, February 2, 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, www.groundhog.org