As Groundhog Day approaches on Thursday, Feb. 2, Americans anticipate this year’s predictions. According to tradition, if the groundhog emerges from hibernation and sees his shadow, we are in for six more weeks of winter. And spring is right around the corner if he doesn’t see his shadow.
The best-known Groundhog Day ceremony occurs annually in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Historically, Europeans looked to animals’ hibernation patterns to predict the weather. Germans brought the custom to the United States, and later the Pennsylvania Dutch replaced badgers with groundhogs, where the first official celebration took place on Feb. 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.