Groundhog Day is a tradition that goes back to the 18th or 19th century, with the earliest recording being a diary entry from February 4th 1841, in which a groundhog seeing its shadow determines weather or not winter will end early or extend six more weeks.
If they see their shadow then we are in for a long dark winter, if not then spring is soon to come, that is how the legend goes!
There are numerous famous groundhogs all across North America but the first to make a prediction every year is Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia, and the most famous is Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania, while the most local is the only Albino groundhog; Wiarton Willie from Wiarton, Ontario.
There is a festival to Willie held each year, this years schedule went as such:
If you have never seen a groundhog ceremony this is last years:
and outside the festivals the groundhogs are generally very difficult to spot as they spook easily and hide in their holes from cameras and noises alike.
Hence why they spook at their own shadows.
This year predictions from each were; Sam – Early Spring, Phil – Six More Weeks, and Willie – Early Spring!
Photos from facebook.com/Wiartonwillie
Videos from Explore The Bruce Youtube channel.