Groundhog Day

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Every February 2nd, North Americans (particularly in the colder parts) hear news broadcasts about the local groundhog’s weather forecast for the spring. The groundhog emerges from his hole in the ground, looks around and if he sees his shadow, winter will persist for 6 more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow because it’s cloudy outside – spring will come early. It doesn’t really seem to work around here, but I am always hoping for spring.

Goundhog on street sign
My local groundhog hanging on to a “Shared Pathway” sign last spring

Groundhog Day Origin

We think of Groundhog Day as North American, but we actually borrowed the tradition from Germany, where an animal predicts the weather/spring on Candlemas (February 2), and depending on the region, it may be a badger, a bear or even a fox.

My local groundhog crossing the pathway
My local groundhog crossing the pathway
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Groundhog eating peanut
Photo by Doug Brown on

Groundhog FAQs

  • Groundhogs are members of the marmot family
  • Groundhogs are also known as Whistlepigs and Woodchucks
  • A groundhog can have as many as 9 babies per year
  • A groundhog hole can be as long as 10 meters
Groundhog in meadow
Photo by Aaron J Hill on

This year, as we enter our another pandemic year, the groundhog’s silly news will give me even more distraction and hopefully he will predict spring. ad
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5 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

  1. Well here in Eastern Canada it will definitely be an early Spring, no shadows today– between 5am-11am we are getting 20cm of snow which is currently happening. Then the temp starts going up from our current -1C to 8C and the heavy part of the system with 80km winds and 50+ mm of rain!

  2. Over here in Saskatchewan we are about to enter into another cold spell. We’ve been spoiled this Winter though so I don’t mind so much.

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