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Barney, Cousin to Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, PA
Barney, a cousin to Punxsutawney Phil the weather predicting groundhog looks out of his burrow at the Civic Center in Barclay Park in downtown Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the eve of Groundhog Day on February 1, 2011. UPI/Archie Carpenter
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Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog resident of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. On February 2 (Groundhog Day) of each year, the town of Punxsutawney celebrates the beloved groundhog with a festive atmosphere of music and food. During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler's Knob, located in a rural area about 2 miles (3.2 km) east of town. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, he has predicted an early spring. The date of Phil's prognostication is known as Groundhog Day in the United States and Canada. He is considered to be the world's most famous prognosticating rodent. During the rest of the year, Phil lives in the town library with his "wife" Phyllis.

A select group, called the Inner Circle, takes care of Phil year-round and also plans the annual ceremony. Members of the Inner Circle are recognizable by their top hats and tuxedos. Phil currently has two co-handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.

Zoological data suggest that groundhogs have an average lifespan of ten years in captivity and six years in the wild, with a maximum lifespan of 14 years in captivity documented. Punxsutawney Phil fans say that there is only one Phil (all the other groundhog weathermen are impostors), and that he has made weather prognostications for over 121 years as of 2011. They say that every summer, Phil is given a sip of the mysterious Groundhog Elixer, which magically lengthens his life for seven years. This is done by Inner Circle members. According to the Groundhog Club, Phil, after making the prediction, speaks to the Club President in "Groundhogese", which only the Inner Circle appear to understand, and then his prediction is translated for the entire world.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Punxsutawney Phil."
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