The prediction has been made! On Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil revealed that we’re going to have six more weeks of winter. Phil saw his shadow when he emerged from his burrow on Groundhog Day 2022, and his “inner circle” confirmed his prediction to thousands of people watching the annual ceremony.
When Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog Day, he runs back into his burrow to hide, which signals a longer winter. However, when he doesn’t see his shadow, he stays outside, which tells us that spring is coming sooner. The official Groundhog Day event takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. In 2021, the event was held virtually, due to restrictions in place amidst the coronavirus. However, this year, things looked more back to normal, with hundreds gathering to see what Phil would predict.
Phil’s prediction in 2021 called for six extra weeks of winter, but his two prior predictions before that (2019 and 2020), called for an early spring. The famed groundhog has an accuracy rate of less than 40 percent, but the tradition of the Groundhog Day ceremony remains widespread. Leading up to Groundhog Day, there are various events to attend at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, so the celebration has become an affair that lasts for several days!
Phil has been making his predictions on Groundhog Day since the late 1800s. While the tradition remains the same, the day is also an opportunity to “take everything a little less seriously and break up the winter monotony…at least for a little while,” according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website. According to the legend, Phil drinks from the “elixir of life” every few years, which is how he’s able to keep coming back to make his Groundhog Day predictions year after year. Looks like we’ll have to wait and see if we actually do have a longer winter and Phil’s prediction turns out to be right this year!