Groundhog Predicts Early Spring

Sarah Al-Arshani, Staff rEPORTER

Many find it ridiculous to depend on a groundhog to determine if spring comes early or if there will be another six weeks of winter.

According to a folklore that started in Germany, where they believed that if the sun was out on Candlemas, Feb. 2 , the hedgehog, (the original animal in the tale) will see its shadow and there would be an extra six weeks of winter. When the Germans migrated to the United States the tradition continued but the hedgehog was replaced with the groundhog. The tradition is still practiced today and many wait and see if the groundhog would see its shadow, but many doubt the groundhog’s predictions.

“The groundhog is not accurate,it’s just random guessing,” said freshman Jacob Murray.

Many groundhogs are used to make this prediction but the most famous is Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Penn. Phil has been making predictions for 127 years according to Phil’s lifespan is longer than the average groundhog’s lifespan of 9 to fourteen years. The groundhog’s fans say that every year Phil is given a sip of groundhog elixir that increases his lifespan by seven years.

Phil’s fans claim that he is the only accurate groundhog forecaster, although he has only been correct 39 percent of the time since his predictions started in 1887. According to Phil, we should expect an early spring this year.