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February 2009
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Today is Groundhog Day!

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The world’s most famous groundhog saw his shadow this morning, predicting this already long winter will last for six more weeks.

The annual ritual takes place on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced the forecast in a short proclamation, in which Phil acknowledged the Steelers’ 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow was seen, legend said spring would come early.

Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Rowley said the Groundhog Day festivities is Pennsylvania’s largest tourist gathering in the winter. And if Phil’s forecast proves correct it should bring even more tourists to the state.

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