Alpine marmots in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
© Michaela Walch/Alam
Spring is coming. Alpine marmots in National Park Hohe Tauern, Austria
Groundhog Day is a North American tradition with roots in the February 2 Candlemas observances practiced by German immigrants. The most well-known Groundhog Day celebration, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, was promoted by a local newspaper editor in 1886. Thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney each year to witness the groundhog emerge from its burrow, and more importantly, to see if the critter saw its shadow. If the groundhog sees its shadow, winter will go on for six weeks. If it does not see its shadow, spring-like conditions are coming. Even though this tradition is still popular in the 21st century, studies have not found any association between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the late arrival of spring weather.