1. Groundhog Day is also what’s known as a cross-quarter day.
That is, it occurs at the midpoint between a solstice and an equinox. In this case, in the Northern Hemisphere, these are the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
2. This halfway point is seen in many cultures as when light and life begins to win over cold and darkness.
It has been recognized by various names, including the Celtic holiday Imbolc, and Candlemas, the Christian festival of light.
3. Celebrations often included looking to nature for signs of the coming season.
In France and England, bears brought the forecast; in Germany, it was badgers.
4. When German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania, they found no badgers.
But there were plenty of groundhogs. The old ways were adapted for a new land and, eventually, Punxsutawney Phil became the stuff of legend.
5. Phil isn’t the most accurate of weather prognosticators.
He’s correct only about 39 percent of the time.
Source: The Farmer’s Almanac