2 February is Groundhog Day, most famously in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Punxsutawney’s resident groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has supposedly lived to make weather prognostications since 1886. How old does that make Punxsutawney Phil?
Punxsutawney Phil age revealed
According to the official Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, established 1887, “there has only been one Punxsutawney Phil”. All others are imposters.
This makes Phil, depending on exactly when his birthday lies, 134 years of age. Indeed, President Deeley of Punxsutawney’s Inner Circle insists that Phil really is 134 years old.
“He has been making predictions since 1886!” – although the event formally began in 1887.
Phil owes his miraculous longevity to what the Groundhog Club calls an “elixir of life” – a secret recipe. He takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, and it magically gifts him with seven more years of life.
His predictions are correct “100% of the time, of course!”
Until 1961, Phil’s name was Br’er Groundhog. Then, for some reason, his name changed to Punxsutawney Phil.
While the Groundhog Club says he was “named after King Phillip”, they don’t specify exactly which royal Phil is Groundhog Phil’s namesake.
Phil has a wife whose name is Phyliss. Unfortunately, however, she does not receive the Elixir of Life like Phil does, so she will not live forever.
Groundhog Day 2021 predictions
This year, Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day celebration will be entirely virtual.
Normally, however, Phil’s prognostications take place in a rural spot a couple of miles from Punxsutawney, called Gobbler’s Knob.
Around 7:10 am on 2 February, Phil emerges from his burrow on the Knob in front of thousands of followers from all over the world.
“According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.”
The events take place in the spirit of “taking everything a little less seriously, and breaking up the winter monotony.”
Phil’s Inner Circle wear top hats and tuxedos; all those taking part are expected to join in the communal light-hearted suspension of disbelief. Naturally, this covers any scepticism regarding Punxsutawney Phil’s age.
The events of Punxsutawney’s Groundhog Day set the scene for Harold Ramis’ 1993 film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray as a perplexed weatherman.
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