February 2, 2009

Phil groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter


, the world's most famous groundhog, saw his shadow reflected today, which means, according to the tradition of the town Punxsutawnew U.S., which in this cold winter still has six weeks more. Legend says that the February 2, groundhogs wake of his brief hibernation, and if they leaves outdoors and can see its shadow on the ground, winter will last at least six weeks.

Phil emerged from his burrow after sunrise and before 13,000 people attended this unique event. Many came dressed in black and gold to celebrate the victory of the football team Pittsburgh Steelers in the final of the night before. The annual ritual takes place in Gobble's Knob, a small hill in the town of Punxsutawney (Pennsylvania), a town of about 6100 people about 100 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

Throughout the day there will be celebrations in the town to commemorate this tradition that dates back to 1887 and has its roots in the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which celebrated the fertility and became, with the arrival of Christianity to the British Isles in celebration of St. Brigid.

In the U.S., Phil is a celebrity and has its own supporters club, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, whose members are responsible for carrying out the ceremony for which they dress with top hat and tuxedo. A ceremony that became popular comedy Groundhog Day (1993) (Trapped in time) starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

According to the website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, since Phil began to play its role as a "meteorologist" has seen its shadow on the floor 98 times, 15 times not seen, and there are records of nine years. So if their predictions do not fail, after the cold snap and snow affecting the northeast of the country, Americans must prepare for a few weeks of cold.

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