Can a groundhog, also known as a woodchuck, really predict the weather? According to legend, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
Where did this legend come from? According to the official website of Punxsutawney Phil, America’s most popular groundhog, it began with Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers. They brought with them the celebration of Candlemas Day. It was said that if Candlemas Day was bright, winter had another fight. The first official Groundhog Day ceremony was held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on February 2, 1887.
Did you know a groundhog is also known as a whistle pig or a marmot, or that they do their own version of an Eskimo kiss when they greet each other? You can find all kinds of weird and wonderful facts about groundhogs in our database Explora.
Want more? Celebrate Groundhog Day this year on February 2 with your very own peek-a-boo puppet in his groundhog house, the latest paper puppet you can download and make from our Printable Puppets series!
Sing a groundhog song with the musical group Kiboomers:
Check out more with these books about groundhogs from the Austin Public Library.