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Will the Groundhog See His Shadow? Will We Have an Early Spring?

Will Gen. Lee see his shadow? Will Punxsutawney Phil? We'll find out on Groundhog's Day, which is this Saturday, Feb. 2.

According to the myth, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if he does not, spring is right around the corner.

Last year, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter while Staten Island Chuck called for an early spring.

In Georgia, Gen. Beau Lee correctly predicted an early spring. This Saturday, visitors will flock to the Yellow River Game Ranch to see if Gen. Lee will call for an early spring once more.

Groundhog Day and other similar legends are based on the beliefs of Europeans, but the true origins of the holiday are lost in time. The day originated from the Germans, Scots and early Christian Europeans.

It is celebrated every year on Feb. 2. On this day, a groundhog comes out of its burrow and checks for his shadow to determine how soon spring will arrive.

Groundhog Day as we know it in the U.S. started because the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers wanted to know if spring was coming early or not. That information helped them decide when they should plant seeds and half their hay.

Europeans used hedgehogs as the animal that determined the season change but Pennsylvania Dutch farmers chose the groundhog because they were found in greater numbers in North America. Groundhog Day stemmed from the ancient traditions of Candlemas, a holiday that originated in early Christian Europe that was celebrated by the Germans.

Do you pay attention to the groundhog predictions? Let us know in the comments.

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