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History[ edit ] The groundhog Marmota monax is a rodent of the family Sciuridae , belonging to the group of large ground squirrels. The observance of Groundhog Day in the United States first occurred in German communities in Pennsylvania, according to known records. This was a Welsh enclave but the diarist was commenting on his neighbors who were of German stock. People have gathered annually at the spot for the event ever since. The lodge members were the "genesis" of the Groundhog Club formed later, which continued the Groundhog Day tradition.
But the lodge started out being interested in the groundhog as a game animal for food. It had started to serve groundhog at the lodge, and had been organizing a hunting party on a day each year in late summer.
The first "Groundhog Picnic" was held in 1887 according to a book for popular reading by an academic,  but given as post-circa-1889 by a local historian in a journal. It employs a taxidermic specimen stuffed woodchuck. The Pennsylvania German dialect is the only language spoken at the event, and those who speak English pay a penalty, usually in the form of a nickel , dime , or quarter per word spoken, with the money put into a bowl in the center of the table. The University of Dallas in Irving, Texas has boasted of hosting the second largest Groundhog celebration in the world.
Petersburg , and Samara, Russia. The Germans already had a tradition of marking Candlemas February 2 as "Badger Day" Dachstag , where if a badger emerging found it to be a sunny day thereby casting a shadow, it foreboded the prolonging of winter by 4 more weeks. Protestant Germany[ edit ] The Candlemas was a Catholic festival officially eliminated by the Protestant Reformists , but it had been retained and continued to be celebrated by the folk. For the Pennsylvania Dutch, it became the dox which in Deitsch referred to "groundhog".
If the groundhog sees its shadow.. The genus name signified "bear-rat". It was speculated that the European counterpart might have lore similar to the groundhog attached to it. The Roman calendar, in turn, had Celtic origins. Groundhog Day was not brought by immigrants from these places.
With that, he will allegedly determine whether spring will soon begin by not seeing his shadow, or if winter will ensue for six more weeks. Phil has predicted 103 forecasts for winter and just 17 for an early spring.
Under this theory, if German settlement had been centered further north, Groundhog Day would take place at a later date. Groundhogs are creatures within the rodent family that weigh between 12 and 15 pounds and can live up to 8 years.
Surprisingly, groundhogs have the ability to climb up trees, and much like beavers, swim. Each fall, Groundhogs go into hibernation until March, where they will make their official debut back above ground.
When the animals emerge from hibernation, their initial purpose is to find a mate, but as society has popularized the Groundhog Day tradition, they also predict the changing of seasons. Thus, if it is sunny on Sretenje, it is a sign that the winter is not over yet. If it is cloudy, it is a good sign that the winter is about to end.
If it rains that day, the rest of summer is supposedly going to be rainy. As well, in the United Kingdom, the 15th of July is known as St. Clymer Freas, or Clymer H. Smith , another editor of the paper and later elected to U. Congress , cartoonist C. Payne , and John P. Cowan of the Pittsburgh Gazette. If the dox the dialect word for groundhog sees its shadow on this day, the belief is that six weeks of bad weather will follow".
Note that Maria purificante or The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the reference to Candlemas day, since this is the biblical event that Candlemas is supposed to commemorate.