The legend of Groundhog Day is based on an old Scottish couplet: "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."
Every February 2, people gather at Gobbler's Knob, a wooded knoll just outside of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (how would you like to have to write that in your return address all the time? gezzz). The residents there contend that the groundhog has never been wrong.
The ceremony in Punxsutawney was held in secret until 1966, and only Phil's prediction was revealed to the public. Since then, Phil's fearless forecast has been a national media event.
The groundhog comes out of his electrically heated burrow, looks for his shadow and utters his prediction to a Groundhog Club representative in "groundhogese." The representative then translates the prediction for the general public.
If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, it means spring is just around the corner.
Approximately 90% of the time, Phil sees his shadow.
Phil started making predictions in 1887 and has become an American institution.
Personally, I think the whole thing may just be one of God's ways of telling us we have way too much time on our hands....
It takes a college degree to fly an airliner but a high school degree to repair one. Comforting isn't it...
Live Long and Prosper....