How did February 2nd ever come to be known as Groundhog Day?
from “The Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club”
The groundhog tradition stems from...beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe, and for centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important.
According to an old English song:
If Candlemas be fair and bright.
Come, Winter, have another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain.
Go, Winter, and come not again.
According to an old Scotch couplet:
If Candlemas Day is bright and clear.
There’ll be twa (two) winters in the year.
- snip –
The Roman legions...brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather...
Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they found groundhogs in profusion in many parts of the state. They determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on February 2nd, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.
The 2008 Prediction of Punxsutawney Phil
Six more weeks of winter
Plush Duck Groundhog Day Tradition
Watch the movie “Groundhog Day” with my family