Groundhog Day 2012 swept the nation, with Americans across the U.S. getting a kick out of little Punxsutawney Phil. You could even say it was a bit maniaal. The adorable groundhog is a sure celebrity, with hoards of fans waiting for his arrival and dressing up in his honor.
But most only want to know: Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., meaning that the U.S. should prepare for six more weeks of winter. However, Phil was in the minority opinion. Other groundhogs around the nation did not see their shadows. Critters in at least four other states did not see their shadows, meaning winter may be over sooner rather than later.
Where did Groundhog Day mania originate? In Germany. The tradition is rooted in German superstition, which says that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will continue for another six weeks, according to The San Francisco Gate.
However, the U.S. National Climatic Data Center says that Punxsutawney Phil's prediction should be taken with a grain of salt.
It really isn't a 'bright' idea to take a measure such as a groundhog's shadow and use it as a predictive meteorological tool for the entire United States, the center wrote on its Web site.
The table shows no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of this analysis, according to the center.
Regardless of fact or fiction, Phil and others like him are superstars. Fans dressed up in groundhog hats and snouts. Some even carried signs reading Punxsutawney Phil for President!
Check out some photos from Groundhog Day 2012 celebrations.