Feb. 2 marks Groundhog Day and the halfway point between winter and spring.  If the groundhog sees his shadow then there’s going to be six more weeks of winter. If not, then winter-like weather will soon end.

In Howell, all eyes are on Woody the Woodchuck but the groundhog named Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is watched most closely.

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Newscasts from around the country will air footage of Phil and his reaction to the weather when he emerges from his den. The German settlers in this part of Pennsylvania began Groundhog Day around 1887. Although in Germany, it is the hedgehog that has the honor of predicting spring, the abundance of groundhogs in Pennsylvania was a natural choice to carry on this tradition.

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Even before the hedgehog, the winter milestone was called Candlemas marked by a custom of lighting candles blessed by the clergy. No matter the prediction, take a deep breath knowing that spring is just around the corner!

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Content provided by Oakland University.