Canadians celebrate Groundhog Day February 2 each year.  It is based on the idea of a groundhog coming out of its home to ‘predict’ if spring is on its way.    It is celebrated with festivals, dances, contests, parades and pancake breakfasts.

Although not a public holiday in Canada, in many areas such as Wiarton, in Bruce County ON, streets can get congested as people flock to see what Wiarton Willie, the towns own groundhog, will predict about the coming of spring.

In the distant past, people in some areas of Europe believed badgers had the power to predict the coming of spring. A badger was watched to determine when to plant crops.  In the US a groundhog was substituted for the badger.

The legend surrounding the event is that if the groundhog sees its shadow on February 2, it will return to its hole showing that there will be six more weeks of winter. However, no shadow siting would indicate that spring is on the way.