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.
Who exactly is Punxsutawney Phil? Here are five interesting facts about the groundhog, via The Global Post.
1. Phil can whistle. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, groundhogs will whistle when alarmed.
2. Phil is an actor. The groundhog became a Hollywood favorite in the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. The movie was not filmed in Punxsutawney, Pa.
3. Phil isn't always correct. Studies by the National Climatic Data center reveal that the Phil's overall accuracy rate is around just 39 percent.
4. Phil belongs to the squirrel family. Groundhogs are the largest members of the squirrel family, according to National Geographic.
5. Phil is immortal. So says the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. Even though the average groundhog's life span is just six to eight years, Phil drinks a magical punch during the annual Groundhog picnic every summer, making him ageless!
Check out some photos from Groundhog Day 2012 of Punxsutawney Phil and the people who love him.