Posted Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, at 4:59 PM
Hear ye, hear ye, Punxsutawney Phil , aka the Groundhog Day mascot, did not see his shadow, which signals an early spring is on the way.
The folks in and around Punxsutawney, Pa., have celebrated Groundhog Day on Feb. 2 since the 1700s, when German settlers lit candles in recognition of the Christian holiday Candlemas . The holiday was made more popular thanks to Bill Murray's 1993 comedy, Groundhog Day .
The 2011 prediction of an early spring is no doubt welcome news for the snow-weary Northeast. Of course, there's a caveat: Historical weather data show Punxsutawney Phil's predictions are right about 40 percent of the time.