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Ground Hog's Day
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At the first of February, the days were growing noticeable longer. Candles were lit to help warm the earth and bring even more light to the earth. When the Christian took over the Roman empire, they changed this to Candlemas.
The Germans had a folklore that on Candlemas day, if a hedgehog saw its shadow, there would be 6 more weeks of winter, else it was almost over. This supposedly came from the Romans. When they migrated to the United States. there were no hedgehogs. The local Indians had great respect for the ground hog which they called Wojac (where we get the name "woodchuck"), which they considered an ancestor, so Pennsylvania Dutch changed their traditions from a hedgehog to a woodchuck or groundhog. " per Larry Freeman
In the early 1880's a few residents of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania began to celebrate the legend of the groundhog as a weather prognosticator. If Punxsutawney Phil, upon emerging from his burrow, saw his shadow, there would be six more weeks of bad weather or two winters. If he did not see his shadow, the forecast would be for an early spring. Today, the popularity of Groundhog Day continues to grow.
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