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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a popular American tradition occurring annually on February 2nd. It is the day that the groundhog comes out of his hole after a long winter sleep to look for his shadow.

If the groundhog sees his shadow, it is said that there will be six more weeks of winter weather.

If the day is cloudy, and the groundhog casts no shadow than an early Spring can be expected.

The holiday can be traced to Candlemas Day of early Christians in Europe.

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.

The Romans brought this tradition to the Germans during the Roman conquest. They interpreted that if the sun was out during Candlemas Day, an animal would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather. Pennsylvania's earliest settlers were Germans and found groundhogs throughout the state. They felt that the groundhog was an intelligent predictor as it resembled the European hedgehog.

Punxsutawney Phil, of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, has become the most famous weather forecasting groundhogs.