Journey North News
Signs of Spring
Report Your Sightings
Search Journey North
The History of Groundhog Day
Mr. Murray's 7th Grade Students
Dolphin Senior Public School
According to legend, on February the 2nd, the groundhog will come out of
its burrow. If the sun is shining and the groundhog sees its shadow and
then goes back in the burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If
the day is cloudy and the groundhog doesn't see its shadow, it will stay
above ground and spring will come early. Some people claim that watching
for groundhogs is a very reliable way of predicting the end of winter.
However, scientists say groundhogs are only right about 30 per cent of the
time for this legend.
February the 2nd each year, according to rural American tradition, the
groundhog leaves its burrow where it has been hibernating, and
emerges to discover whether cold winter weather will continue. Groundhog
Day is based on a custom that people brought from Germany and England.
People believed animals could help forecast the weather.
By Ashley Thomson
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is known for Groundhog Day. Each day on February
2nd, people from Punxsutawney wait to see what the groundhogs will do. Will
the groundhogs stay above ground or will it go back into the burrow? The
official groundhog forecast of Punxsutawney is announced through the U.S.
Will the groundhog come out and stay or will it go back in? We are tired
of ice, snow and our very cold weather. We wish the groundhogs could check
the Internet so they would know it's time to stay out of their burrows so
we can have an early spring.
By Shivali Bedi
Groundhog Day in Wiarton, Ontario
There is a similar celebration in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada. Wiarton Willie,
an Albino groundhog, comes out of his hole on February the 2nd. Wiarton
Willie has a unfailing ability to correctly predict the rest of the winter.
He maintains his trim figure with corn chips and salsa. The women may not
find him handsome but, someone thought he was important enough to be carved
By Sarah Hassall and Ashley Thomson
In Britain in the fifth century, the Christian festival of
Candlemas replaced the Roman festival of Februa on February 2nd. The
Christians added their own twist to the weather prediction: if Candlemas
was fair, there would be two winters in a year. Although Christians did not
completely believe this, tradition and myth did not fade completely.
By Sarah Hassall
Happy Hedgehog Day
No, we're not going mad. Before the holiday known as groundhog day
was around, people were celebrating Hedgehog Day. It all started when the
Romans observed that the hedgehog hibernated, and originated the weather
myth that if the hedgehog sees his shadow , it means that there will be six
more weeks of cold winter weather. It was the light of the moon , not the
sun, that created the hedgehog's shadow ( because the hedgehog only comes
out at night).
Over the next 15 centuries, the hedgehog myth gradually faded,
although the hedgehog continued to appear in literature, coins, and later
Even though the hedgehogs role as a weather predictor disappeared
it reappeared in North America. As people emigrated to North America they
substituted the spiny hedgehog with the new groundhog.
By Darrell D'Aguilar