In the United States, we celebrate a strange holiday called Groundhog Day. It is a holiday that is derived from and old European holiday, Candlemas. There was an old saying about Candlemas being the day to determine how much longer winter was going to stick around:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.
According to the official Groundhog Day website, the Romans brought Candlemas to Europe and from that, the Germans decided that if an animal (they chose the hedgehog for some reason) saw it’s shadow on Candlemas, it meant six more weeks of winter. When German settlers came to the United States to settle in Pennsylvania, they brought this holiday with them. Once they realized there were no hedgehogs to be found, however, they decided that the groundhog was such an intelligent and sensible animal that he would surely know to run back into his burrow if he saw his shadow, hence Groundhog Day.
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