Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2nd in North America. The celebration has a long history dating back to ancient times, when people interpreted the reappearance of hibernating animals—such as bears or badgers—as foretelling when the end of winter would come. The Christian tradition of Candlemas helped sustain this idea through an association of clear weather in February with a longer winter. When people from Germanic countries settled in the part of North America now known as Pennsylvania, groundhogs took the place of badgers in this tradition.
So, how do groundhogs predict an early or late spring?
If a groundhog comes out of its burrow on February 2nd and sees its shadow, it means we’re stuck with another six long weeks of winter, but if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, it means spring is coming soon.
Whether this funny-looking animal—which looks like a large, chunky squirrel with a much smaller tail—can really predict the end of winter or not, Groundhog Day is a fun way to break up the monotony of the long North America winter—especially here in Canada!
Fun Groundhog Day kids’ activity
Here are a fun Groundhog Day coloring sheet and an I Spy activity for children to enjoy while celebrating Groundhog Day!
Watch them have fun finding the hidden groundhogs and coloring the cheerful groundhog coloring page.
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