|waitin' on the groundhog by ana traina ~2011~|
It’s thought the Groundhog Day legend probably originated with German settlers who came to the Pennsylvania area in the 17th and 18th centuries. One of the European folk tales these settlers likely brought with them was the belief that mammals like hedgehogs and badgers were weather prophets. Another belief brought from Europe was that if the sun shone on Candlemas Day—which was Feb. 2—it meant six more weeks of wintry weather. It seems these two bits of folklore became entwined over the years and by the late 1800s, Groundhog Day had become an annual event in the United States.
Last bit of odd and end ~ In Scotland the tradition may also derive from this English poem:
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop
I do hope the little bugger does not see his shadow as I am aching for springtime!