LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Before the top hats, movie, and media coverage, Groundhog Day has been evolving for centuries.
In the beginning, Celt’s celebrated Imbolc, which was a celebration for the arrival of spring. As Christianity spread through Europe, Candlemas Day was formed. On February 2nd, Candlemas Day was when clergy would bless and distribute candles to people for the winter season. In certain parts of Europe, people believed if Candlemas Day was sunny, that 40 more days of snow and cold would follow.
The next transition was when German settlers used a badger to determine if the day was sunny with a shadow appearing. As German settlers settled in Pennsylvania, the tradition remained the same, but a Groundhog was used as it was native to the land.
In 1887, the official Groundhog Day occurred in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.
Check out the complete history in the video above.