Groundhog Day… Again

Groundhog Day attracts media attention across Canada every year, but why?

Thousands of years ago when animalism and nature worship were prevalent, people in the area of Europe now known as Germany believed the badger had the power to predict the coming of spring. They watched the badger to know when to plant their crops.

This tradition was brought over to North America, predominantly in Pennsylvania in the United States, where it was the groundhog, not the badger, which makes these “predictions”. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2 it will return to its burrow, indicating there will be six more weeks of winter. If it does not see its shadow, then spring is on the way.

The Groundhog Day concept became popular in Canada in 1956 when Wiarton Willie became a household name for his early February “weather predictions”. Wiarton’s Groundhog Day festival grew as Willie’s fame increased. It became one of the largest winter festivals in Bruce County, Canada.

There are also other groundhogs in different parts of Canada. For example, Schubenacadie Sam is reportedly the first groundhog in the country to stick its head out on Groundhog Day. Other groundhogs include: Gary the Groundhog in Ontario, Brandon Bob in Manitoba, and Balzac Billy in Alberta.

So what did Punxsutawney Phil predict this year? Click the link below to see the furry rodent’s prediction.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/c/embed/19dc76f8-aadc-11e4-8876-460b1144cbc1

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