Groundhog day is Candlemas in the old European Calendar. This is the day that Christmas or Yule decorations officially come down. Here is the full verse:
If Candlemas day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight.
If Candlemas day be clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.
~ E. Holden
The US tradition honors the groundhog, or marmot, as the local weather prognosticator. Other regions honored the fox, the robin and a host of other animals. The animal chosen is not important, nor is the forecast supposed to relate to a whole country, but is said to describe a local microclimate phenomenon. Whatever, I ask you all to wish for a cloudy day today, wherever you are, so that no beast can see his shadow. We don’t want another repeat of last year!
The American Ground Hog: Click here to visit Punxatawney Phil’s official site.
For some of the science behind the tradition, yes, there is a wee bit of science, see the Farmer’s Almanac article.
Most importantly, watch Groundhog Day again.