Entertaining historical information about Groundhog Day
The Valdosta Daily Times features an interesting article about Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil, "Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary."
At some point, during the settlement of the Punxsutawney region, the groundhog became associated with Candlemas Day, because the groundhog would surely see its shadow on a fair and bright day meaning, by Candlemas standards, six more weeks of winter weather. The earliest reference to Groundhog Day was written Feb. 4, 1841, according to Stormfax, when a Pennsylvania storekeeper recorded in his diary: "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas Day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is moderate."
What a lovely tradition. I'm originally from Germany, but I never heard of Candlemas Day, though. And when it comes to "Groundhog Day," Germans only know it from the Bill Murray movie.
By the way, a lot of other American traditions making their way over to Germany. In recent years, typical American celebrations like Valentine's Day, Halloween, and others have become more popular in Germany, mostly due to Hollywood's influence.