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When did we first start using groundhogs as a weather prediction tool?

Happy Groundhog Day!! Just curious when Groundhog Day began, and if there was any particular reason why we use a groundhog (versus some other animal).

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Ok...it supposedly started in Europe as Candlemas (if it was sunny it meant 4 more weeks of winter, then the Germans added an animal to the mix. Thanks for making me look this up!

http://www.theholidayspot.com/groundhogday/theday.htm

(poor woodchuck had a nice normal name till someone started calling them ground hogs....)

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It is just a superstition. The groundhog is not a weather prediction tool. It is just fun and games for people. The groundhog is usually wrong anyway.

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Hey! we use cows to predict rain and caterpillars to predict how tough a winter, we are an equal opportunity nonsense liking race. Lol

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when did you hear that thing about the cows and caterpillars?
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I've known it forever. When most cows are laying down it means rain and the more wooly caterpillars are, the colder the winter
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Yeah, I was always told as a child about the wooly caterpillars being harbingers of impending snowy doom (or just really cold weather) !! XD
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