Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow on Groundhog Day

Did the groundhog see his shadow?

In the U.S. and Canada today, thousands gathered to observe Groundhog Day 2009.

Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog saw his shadow which means that, according to folklore, the northern hemisphere will have six more weeks of winter.

punxsutawney phil shadow groundhog day

Phil’s forecast was announced in front of thousands of people gathered at Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. A lot of them were donning black-and-gold to celebrate the Pittsburgh SteelersSuper Bowl victory the night before.

Canada’s Shubenacadie Sam poked his head out into the elements Monday morning, only to be met by his shadow.

“He saw his shadow and went back in,” said Jacqueline Parker, a spokesperson with the Nova Scotia provincial government. “It’s six more weeks of winter.”

In New York City, another groundhog called Staten Island Chuck failed to see his shadow when he was lured from his cage by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, predicting that spring was near.

According to German superstition, if a groundhog sees his shadow Feb. 2–the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early.

The event, based on the festival of Candlemas, was made famous by the 1993 movieGroundhog Day” starring Bill Murray.

An old English folk song declares: “If Candlemas be fair and bright/Come, Winter, have another flight./ If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go Winter, and come not again.”