Groundhog Day 2023: Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

Punxsutawney Phil has made his weather prediction at the Groundhog Day 2023 ceremony.

Last year the groundhog, or woodchuck, saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter for the 5,000-plus crowd in the audience.

This year, crowds gathered in person and virtually to find out whether the animal would forecast an early spring or an extended winter for 2023.

Groundhog Day, which is the subject of a classic 1993 Bill Murray movie, is a tradition that originated in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

The celebration originates from an old Germanic tale that every year Punxsutawney Phil would emerge from its den and prophesize the weather for the forthcoming weeks.

Newsweek has everything you need to know about the results of the 2023 Groundhog Day ceremony.

Groundhog Day 2020
Left: Groundhog handler AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil during the 134th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2020 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Right: Margaret Philbin, Kathy Philbin-Ferro, and Erin Philbin-Parfitt, sisters from Pittsburgh pictured at Gobblers Knob to celebrate the 63rd wedding anniversary of their parents as they await the arrival of Punxsutawney Phil for the 134th Groundhog Day celebration. Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow in 2023?

On February 2, 2023, it was revealed that Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow on the morning of Groundhog Day.

During the ceremony, the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club gathered on a stage to deliver the news to the audience, who were very lively despite the early hours.

The festivities had begun at 6 a.m. ET and the crowds were entertained with music and dancing before Punxsutawney Phil appeared at around 7.25 a.m. ET.

The audience could be heard cheering and chanting Phil's name as he emerged from his den. Phil made his prediction by choosing a scroll and speaking, in secret, in a language known as "groundhogese" to the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle.

The scroll was then read to the crowds, with the speaker saying: "Hear ye, hear ye. Now on this February 2, Punxsutawney Phil, the seer of seers, was awakened from his wintry nap at dawn on Gobbler's Knob.

"Phil looked to the skies and then, speaking in groundhogese, directed this president uncle to the proper scroll which reads, 'I see the morning has brought the finest people, I see their bravery and spirit. The time has come, I can feel it. The excitement, I can hear it.'"

He continued: "I see the folks with gray in their hair, and I see the kids all young and scrawny. Their eyes and cheeks a glow from the cold clean air of sweet Punxsutawney. I see that everyone knows their part, and I am merely the sage, but above all else I see a shadow on my stage. So, no matter how you measure, it's six more weeks of winter weather."

What Does It Mean if The Groundhog Sees His Shadow?

When Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow upon leaving his den, it means the winter will carry on for six more weeks. If he sees a cloudy day, it means an early spring is upon us.

The origins of these beliefs have been traced back to Candlemas Day in Europe by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Punxsutawney Phil
Punxsutawney Phil is held up by his handler for the crowd to see during the ceremonies for Groundhog day on February 2, 2018 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his den. Early spring arrives if he does not see his shadow, causing Phil to remain above ground. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The Christian "festival of lights" also falls on February 2, which is the exact midpoint between the start and end of winter.

Some believe that the lore of Punxsutawney Phil's predictions are based on the Candlemas warning against undue optimism, which advises against looking favorably on good weather and essentially boils down to the phrase: "It might be sunny today, but don't get your hopes up."

Groundhog Day 2013
Punxsutawney Phil pictured climbing on the shoulder of groundhog co-handler John Griffiths during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on February 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The tradition dates back over 130 years and can be traced back to the Candlemas celebrations in Europe. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Many are of the opinion that this is why if Phil sees his shadow, meaning it is a clear day, it is a hint that people shouldn't get their hopes up as more winter weather is to be expected.

Another explanation as to why groundhogs are viewed as predictors of the weather could be the fact that groundhogs stay out of their den if it's cloudy and run back into their den if it's sunny.

The presence of the groundhog's shadow in the sun, therefore, hints that cold weather is on the way as the groundhog will retreat to their den, presumably to keep warm.

The inner circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club looks after Punxsutawney Phil throughout the year and also plan the annual ceremony, which is held at daybreak at a place in Punxsutawney called Gobbler's Knob.