According to tradition, on Groundhog Day, February 2, if the furry critter sees his shadow and emerges from his burrow, we are in store for 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t and retreats into his dwelling, the weather forecast is for milder weather in the interim.
As it turned out, Punxsutawney Phil did not behold his shadow this year, indicating a forecast of an early spring. This projection was confirmed by Buckeye Chuck, the Central Ohio counterpart of the more well-known cousin from Pennsylvania, despite the snow and wintry weather. According to Cleveland.com, this is the fourth year in row that Buckeye Chuck indicated that Ohioans will enjoy an early spring.
Julie Kent of the Cleveland Leader commented regarding the origin of February holiday: “The Groundhog Day tradition stems from a German superstition that predicts bad weather if an animal casts a shadow on February 2, which is the Christian holiday Candlemas.”
Thisischurch.com notes: February 2 is ‘Candlemas’ in many churches and is the day for observing the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of Jesus as well as the presentation of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem (see Luke 2:21-40). “
According to about.com, the celebration of Groundhog Day on a grand scale has been associated with western Pennsylvania, home of the legendary Punxsutawney Phil, the famed rodent, since 1886. Buckeye Chuck, on the other hand, has been the official state groundhog since 1979.