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Meet Groundhog Day's Celebrated Pet Psychic

Punxsutawney Phil is a mid-winter inspiration to us all

So, what’s the deal with Punxsutawney Phil? Is he just another beloved pet psychic, like Paul the Psychic Octopus, or is there another method to this celebrity groundhog’s madness? Then again, who cares? Phil makes us happy. 

Groundhog Day is February 2, and at sunrise this insightfully cute critter will once again emerge from his burrow at Gobbler’s Knob to predict how long winter will last. Legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow we can expect six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, it indicates an early spring.

Part superstition and part tradition, the Groundhog Day legends that inspire Phil's psychic weather forecasts actually date back for centuries, most closely associated with Candlemas Day. Candlemas was a milestone in the middle of winter, when the weather of the day was said to indicate how long before spring would break.

Now, there's a whole roster of psychic groundhogs working the beat. Not just Phil, but Spanish Joe of Ontario, Buckeye Chuck of Ohio and more. "Apparently, much like guys named Bozo and clowning, if you're a marmot you're going to end up being a meteorologist," joked Daily Wedgie humor writer Greg Mandel.

Phil, who gets the most press, saw his shadow in 2014. But with clouds and snow in the forecast for Punxsutawney, Penn. on Feb. 2, 2015, it's anyone's guess if Phil will see his shadow this year!

Either way, we'll be curious to find out. And really, do we care if Phil and kin have genuine psychic insight? Not really.

We are just thankful to these goofy groundhogs for providing a festive mid-winter pick-me-up that feels like a holiday. Because even if you can’t make it all the way to Punxsutawney to see Phil live in action, classrooms around the country will celebrate Groundhog Day with parties, or you can bake up some cute critter cookies with the Groundhog Cookie recipe from Phil’s official website.

It’s all in good fun, but we here at DH headquarters in Portland, Ore. do have one solid psychic prediction of our own this year: If Phil does see his shadow, he'll be one much maligned marmot. But that’s ok, we’ll still eat his cookies.

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by Stephanie Dempsey

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Winter is here, and you'll want to seek out some chilly thrills on the go. We've got just the fix for you. Relaxing, inspiring and reenergizing ... weekends away from it all are a great value, so start planning yours today. Here are some spirit-lifting activities and destinations for each zodiac sign. ... continued »

by Emily Trinkaus

Emerging from the deep hibernation of winter, the Sun in Aquarius from January 20 to February 18 inspires you to come out of the shadows to connect and communicate. A mentally and socially active Air sign, Aquarius is the revolutionary, here to awaken and liberate humanity through a new vision.  ... continued »

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Making up is hard to do. Need help? Pay attention to your lover's horoscope sign. The next time you find yourself in the dog house, consider these tips and you'll be back in your beloved's arms, rather than scratching at the back door for scraps! ... continued »

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