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What you should know about Groundhog Day

By Shania Shelton

Published January 31, 2020

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Groundhog Day is an American tradition that predicts when spring will arrive. It has roots in Europe associated with Candlemas Day, and Germans brought it to Pennsylvania in the 1700s.

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Punxsutawney Phil is Pennsylvania's famous groundhog. His big day is February 2, when he will awaken from hibernation.

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Phil from Pennsylvania isn't the only spring-predicting groundhog. Although he is the most well-known, more than a dozen states have their own groundhogs.

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During the event, crowds watch to see whether the groundhog will see its shadow.

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So what does it mean if the groundhog sees its shadow?

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If Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see it, spring will arrive soon.

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Phil's owners say he has correctly predicted the beginning of spring 100% of the time -- but sometimes his prediction gets lost in translation or interpretation.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the groundhog has shown "no predictive skill" for the last few years.

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