US winter almost over: Phil the groundhog
NEW YORK (AFP) - It's official, at least according to America's most celebrated groundhog: spring is just around the corner.
In an annual ritual with early roots in German folklore and rather more in US media-showbiz, a Pennsylvania groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil was interpreted Saturday as predicting an early end to winter.
According to his handlers at the ceremony in the town of Punxsutawney, Phil was brought out of his burrow and did not see his shadow, meaning, obviously, that the seasonal shift is in the offing.
"And so ye faithful,/ there is no shadow to see/ An early Spring for you and me," Phil announced later on his website: www.groundhog.org.