Happy Groundhog Day! Is Winter Here to Stay?

Though everyday citizens of the United States do not get Groundhog Day off from work and school, most people know that February 2nd marks the very odd tradition of determining when spring will come. (And no, the day will not repeat itself… unlike the Bill Murray movie with the same name.)
According to American and European folklore, if the groundhog comes out of his hole from hibernation and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. But if he does not see his shadow, it is a sign of an early spring.
Weird and counterintuitive? I know right! The holiday traces back to another German holiday called Candlemas, which is a Christian holiday that celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple. The first instance of using a groundhog for predictions dates back to February 4, 1841. On this day, Berks County (Pennsylvania) storekeeper James Morris recorded the event in his diary:
“Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate.”
Old Scottish poems also mention the litter critter and its association with Candlemas:
If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.
If Candle mas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.
Last year, official groundhog Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow, marking six more weeks of winter. This year, with Snowpacalypse disrupting the east coast, we may have Phil popping back into his den to sleep for six more weeks again!
What are your predictions for Groundhog Day?
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TEEN REPORTER | Veronica Louise Mendoza is based in the Silicon Valley in California. A Telly award winner, her accomplishments include more than three years of reporting experience. She has served as a kid reporter for national publications such as TIME Magazine for Kids, Scholastic News for Kids, and Sports Illustrated Kids. She is very comfortable on camera and conducting interviews with public personalities. She has her own television segment for Adobo Nation, a weekly magazine talk program that blends elements of news features and lifestyle topics relevant to Filipino-Americans living in the US, shown on ABS-CBN Global The Filipino Channel (TFC) cable and at the local Bay Area channel KTSF. In addition to her reporting skills, she was an intern for three months at the Daily Post in Palo Alto, a local newspaper that strives to provide the latest and most compelling news in the Palo Alto community. She wrote articles twice a week, wrote obituaries, took pictures for the picture of the day, and received a good foundational experience in journalism. In high school, she lived and breathed media. She was a radio host for her school’s radio station, KSHS Radio, and wrote for the school newspaper, The Heartbeat. Her other hobbies include acting, singing, working with animals, volunteering at Catholic ministries, blogging and serving the community.