What's the deal with Groundhog Day?

What's the deal with Groundhog Day?

What is the deal with groundhog day? Let’s get to the bottom of how this day came to be.

This tradition came to North America from German settlers in Pennsylvania.

In Germany, people looked to badgers to predict when spring would arrive in a celebration called Candlemass.

But there are no badgers in Pennsylvania, so they went with the groundhog instead.

This may or may not come as a surprise, but the reason the groundhog comes out has nothing to do with meteorology. It has more to do with biology because groundhogs have been hibernating since October.

So by the time February comes around, they are getting hungry, and they would also like a mate.

But Canadians love Groundhog Day and the possibilities it brings - so much so that we have several local mascots, like Balzac Billie, Manitoba Merv, Wiarton Willie, Fred la Marmotte, and Shubenacadie Sam.

So what is the success rate of groundhogs in predicting the weather?

It’s generally in the 30 to 40 per cent range.

RELATED: Get to know Canada's most famous groundhogs

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Thumbnail image by Cheryl Santa Maria. Video production by Cheryl Santa Maria and April Walker.