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Groundhog's Day occurs every February 2nd in the United States. According to tradition, when a groundhog comes out of its burrow on this day and sees that it is cloudy, spring will come early. If the groundhog comes out of its burrow and it is sunny, and thus sees its shadow, winter will persist for six more weeks and the groundhog will return to its burrow. 


While Groundhog's Day may have first been celebrated in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the early 1800s, it was first celebrated as a holiday in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1886. The following year, the town crowned "Phil" as the official groundhog of Groundhog's Day. Phil would henceforth be known as Punxsutawney Phil. There have been many "Phils" over the years, but according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website, Phil is 131 years old and counting! He has been able to live so long because he drinks a special formula called "Groundhog's Punch." 


You might think that such a special rodent would have special prediction abilities. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, this is not the case. Phil's recorded predictions over the years have only yielded an accuracy rate of about 39%. Furthermore, in the 103 years in which Phil's predictions have been recorded, he has only predicted the coming of an early spring 17 times! Phil's poor predictive abilities, however, have not seemed to impact the importance of Groundhog's Day. Thousands of people descend upon Punxsutawney every February to help the city celebrate.