Well, the sun has risen, the shadows have been seen and the scrolls have been read. Both Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee and Pennsylvania’s Punxatawney Phil have predicted six more weeks of winter for the U.S.A.
Drawn out by a plate of hash browns and the trumpet call of reveille, Beau exited his mansion in Butts County to a crowd of awestruck fans. After a few minutes, he made his prediction:
Old man winter had prevailed.
Beau’s forecast matched that of Punxutawney Phil, who also predicted six more weeks of winter at 7:22 a.m. in Pennsylvania.
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Georgia’s Gen. Beauregard Lee moved from Gwinnett down south to Dauset Trails Nature Center in Jackson this year - his first time away from the hustle and bustle in Atlanta.
According to Time, the first ever Groundhog Day began more than 130 years on Feb 2, 1887, in Punxutawney, Penn, though its likely some form of the tradition had begun years earlier.
It came about from the ancient Christian holiday known as Candlemas, which commemorates the first time Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the temple. Candles are taken to the church, blessed and distributed to symbolize Jesus as a light of the world, according to the Arlington Catholic Herald.
Even then, however, the day was considered an important milestone in predicting the weather. The Punxutawney Groundhog Club points to what it says are several ancient poems and songs attesting to this, among them:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
But don’t be too dismayed by Phil or the General’s prediction.
The dirty secret is that our rodent meteorologists’ forecasts probably don’t matter. Punxutawney Phil, for example, has been wrong nearly 60 percent of the time, according to Stomfax Almanac.
That’s actually actively worse than just flipping a coin.
But don’t tell his inner circle that. Here’s what they claim on their website:
“Phil has been predicting weather for over 120 years. He is accurate 100% of the time.”
Well, perhaps keep some sunscreen around just in case.