Every Feb. 2 crowds gather outside to see if groundhogs throughout the area see their shadow, which is said to determine whether it will be a long winter or an early spring. This year, the handlers of Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter after the rodent saw his shadow. The “forecast” was revealed at sunrise Thursday.

Here are some facts about Groundhog Day, which was first officially established in 1887 by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

  1. This year marked Punxsutawney Phil's 131st prognostication as it traced back to 1887, and although other places have taken part of the tradition, its origin is in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
  2. Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Before that, he was called Br'er Groundhog.
  3. Groundhog Day came from an ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans took the concept but added their own twist to it by selecting an animal–the hedgehog. They brought it with them to America when they settled in Pennsylvania. They switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs.
  4. The average lifespan of a captive groundhogs is 9-14 years.
  5. Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks and whose scientific name is Marmota monax, typically weigh 12 to 15 pounds.
  6. Punxsutawney Phil gained more fame in the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray, which was shot in scenic Woodstock, Illinois.
  7. In the present day, a vast group of people gathered around in Punxsutawney each Feb. 2 to witness Phil’s prediction.
  8. Groundhogs go into hibernation in the late fall; during this time, their body temperatures drop significantly, their heartbeats slow from 80 to five beats per minute and they can lose 30 percent of their body fat.  In February, male groundhogs come from their burrows to look for a mate before going back underground. They come out of hibernation for good in March.

Below is a poem about Groundhog Day:

At Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day
We celebrate a world-wide Holiday
It’s mighty cold weather, you’ve been braving
Is it more winter or is it spring that you’re craving?
Since you’ve been up all night and starting to tottle
I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle
My faithful followers, I could clearly see
A beautiful, perfect shadow of me
Six more Weeks of Winter, it shall be!

And here are six famous quotes from the movie “Groundhog Day”:

  1. "This is pitiful - 1,000 people freezing their butts off to worship rat."
  2. "I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life."
  3. “I told you. I wake up every day, right here, right in Punxsutawney, and it’s always Feb. 2, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
  4.  “I was in the Virgin Islands once. I met a girl. We ate lobster, drank piña coladas. At sunset, we made love like sea otters. That was a pretty good day. Why couldn’t I get that day over and over and over?”
  5. "What if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today."
  6. “What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same, and nothing that you did mattered?”