Every year on February 2 — Groundhog Day — the citizens of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, gather in the early morning to await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, their weather-predicting groundhog. According to legend, if the large, furry rodent emerges from his burrow and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If there’s no shadow, spring will come early.
Shown here, members of a local club, wearing top hats, cheer as Phil’s handler holds him up for the crowd to see.
The event, which started in 1887 as a small gathering, now attracts a crowd of more than 10,000, including journalists who report Phil’s “prediction.” There are Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, blogs and news websites that follow the event. It is all lighthearted fun.