The Tradition Of ‘Groundhog Day’ 130 Years Old
By now, you've probably heard that famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has "predicted" six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow, early this morning.
This all goes back to a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early. In the beginning, Germans based their predictions on a hedgehog and not a groundhog. However, when they came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, they found a plentiful supply of groundhogs, so they made the rodent switch.
Your typical groundhog or woodchuck, weighs around 12 to 15 pounds, and goes into hibernation in late fall.
Truth be told, in February male groundhogs emerge from their burrows, not to predict the weather, but to look for a mate before going back underground again. They usually come out of hibernation for good in March.
The very first celebration of "Groundhog Day," in America, was February 2, 1887, at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It's been going strong, ever since.