From our buddy Uncle John’s Almanac:
This celebration originated with German settlers of the 1700s, who brought “Candlemas Day” to America. According to tradition, if the sun shone on Candlemas Day, which came halfway between winter and spring, a badger would see its shadow—which meant six more weeks of winter. There were no badgers in Pennsylvania, so groundhogs, emerging from mid-winter hibernation, were accepted as a substitute.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? WHEN GROUNDHOGS PREDICT THE START OF SPRING, THEY’RE WRONG 72% OF THE TIME.
So there you go… go out and grab a woodchuck, marmot or ground squireel and see if winter will end soon.
And then when you’re done, make sure you sit down and watch Groundhog Day (starring Mr. Bill Murray and the lovely Andie MacDowell).