According to legend, if groundhogs coming out of their holes today happen to behold their shadows, they will take fright and scuttle back inside, signalling another six months of winter weather. If, however, the day is too cloudy to produce shadows, we can look forward to an early spring.
The spring predictions associated with this day did not, however, originate with groundhogs. February 2nd marks the Christian celebration of Candlemas, and people were making predictions with Candleas rhymes such as the one below long before rodents got involved.
“If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.”