Groundhog Day, celebrated on February 2, has its roots in an ancient Celtic celebration called Imbolog. The date is one of the four cross-quarter days of the year, the midpoints between the spring and fall equinoxes and the summer and winter solstice.
Imbolog, marking the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, was the most important of the cross-quarter days. In a society dependent on agriculture and therefore on the weather, this was a time to celebrate having made it halfway through winter. The superstition arose that if the weather was fair on Imbolog, the second half of the winter would be cold and stormy, but if the weather was cold and overcast or stormy, the second half of the winter would be mild.
Today we rely upon Punxsutawney Phil, a Pennsylvania groundhog, to let us know what our fate will be. If February 2nd is sunny and Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If the day is cloudy, we can look forward to an earlier spring. Learn more about Groundhog Day on our page of links.