Friday, February 02, 2007
In Britain there is an old rhyme "If Candlemass Day be bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year".
In the United States, Pennsylvanian folklore centred on the groundhog, a little animal believed to emerge from its winter sleep on this day to see if it could find its shadow on the ground. If it saw no shadow the groundhog decided the climate was mild enough for it to remain above ground, and human observers predicted an early spring. However if it did see its shadow the groundhog knew it was still too cold and returned underground for another six weeks of hibernation.
So earlier today, in PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pennsylvania, a new pair of hands (new helper for the festivities) pulled Punxsutawney Phil from his stump this year, so it was only fitting that the groundhog offered a new prediction.
Phil did not see his shadow on Friday which, according to German folklore, means folks can expect an early spring instead of six more weeks of winter.
Since 1886, Phil has seen his shadow 96 times, hasn't seen it 14 times and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. The last time Phil failed to see his shadow was in 1999.
So - AN EARLY SPRING IS ON THE WAY !! HOORAY !! (we shall see.)