Punxsutawney Phil Saw His Shadow this Morning – Six More Weeks of Winter!

We here at Deep Creek Lake are celebrating this forecast. With six more weeks of winter fun at Wisp Resort, reserve your ski weekend now! Our area usually has snow on the ground through March, so there still is plenty of time to enjoy the white stuff.

The tradition of Punxsutawney Phil began in 1886 and with a 50% prediction rate, the furry groundhog has become a famous part of the February 2nd holiday. Today the celebration took place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania at Gobbler’s Knob. While surrounded by the members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil declared (in Groundhogesse, of course):

“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!”

(excerpt taken from www.groudhog.org)

As tradition states, if the groundhog sees has shadow, then with six weeks of winter still on its way and he will return to his burrow. However, if the day is cloudy and the groundhog does not see his shadow, then spring is on the way and he will stay above ground. History shows this day was derived from Candlemas Day which was an early European Christian custom. A clergy member would bless candles that would be handed out to everyone. The weather on that particular day was very important to the timeline of the winter season. They believed if the day was sunny and fair, winter would continue, and if it was cloudy and rainy, then winter would go away. Since Pennsylvania’s lineage was primarily German, they brought with them their Candlemas Day beliefs. When the first settlers came to the area, they found groundhogs to be very prevalent and similar to the European hedgehog, which they thought were wise creatures. Hence the tradition began with the “wise” groundhogs seeing their shadows in the sunny conditions and scurrying back into their burrows.

Throughout the years, this tradition has been influenced by politics, current events, famous people, and even sparked a motion picture in 1993. It is rumored that Phil was named after King Philip and was referred to Br’er Groundhog before the new name stuck. Phil is given a groundhog punch that has allowed him to live for all of these years and he drinks it every summer at the annual Groundhog Picnic. This elixir provides him with seven more years of life. He is lovingly cared for by the Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle and are most known for the black top hats they wear every February 2nd. For more information about Punxsutawney Phil, please visit his website.

If six more weeks of winter adventures sound great to you, reserve one of our properties for a weekend! Please contact one of our knowledgeable reservationist at 301-387-7777 or email us.

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