Groundhog Day is celebrated in the U.S. each year on February 2nd. On this day, the groundhog awakens from a long winter's nap, and goes outside of his den to see if he sees his shadow. This tradition is big on an otherwise cold and dreary mid-winter's day.
If the groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. He then returns to his den and goes back to sleep. If however, he does not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner and he stays outside his den and plays for a while.
According to Holiday Insights, Groundhog's Day tradition comes from German roots. German immigrants brought the tradition with them from Germany. As they settled in the hills of Pennsylvania, they began the tradition of using the groundhog to predict the arrival of spring.
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is the site of the annual Ground Hog event. Our little rodent friend (yes, Groundhogs are classified as rodents) is called Punxsutawney Phil. There are a few other "predictors" around the country, but they all pale in comparison to Phil's ability to predict the remainder of winter.
For the Record, Phil sees his shadow about 9 out of 10 times.
BUT, could this be Phil's last live appearance? Could PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) force Phil to become replaced by a robotic groundhog?? PETA has had enough of this tradition that dates back to 1886 and feels robotics is the answer. As posted on PETA's website, they claim that groundhogs are very shy animals and can become "distressed" when exposed to large crowds and too much excitement.
While an electronic rodent sounds like a neat idea, I think that groundhog bots have a long way to go before they can charm crowds the way Phil can. What do you think?