Today is Groundhog Day. I remember talking about it in elementary school- the cute little groundhog named Phil that predicts the forecast based on his shadow. Here in America it started in 1887, Groundhog Day at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Traditionally, if Phil (although in 1887 I don’t think he was named Phil) came out of his hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.
Groundhog Day started in the old European Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would hand out candles needed for the rest of winter (the candles represented how long and cold the winter could be). Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal (the hedgehog) as a means of predicting the coming weather. Once the German settlers came to America and settled in Pennsylvania they continued the tradition, although they did switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which I guess are (or were) plentiful in the Keystone State.
They had a little rhyme associated with February 2 which is the little rhyme from above. :D
For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far will the snow swirl until the May.
Oh and by the way- Phil did see his shadow this morning I guess. Soooo six more weeks of winter! But honestly- we don’t really see the full force of spring until like after March here in Denver. Usually our snowiest month is March… and sometime even April.