|image via WikiCommons|
History.com, always a great source for these things, has a nice article with some facts about the big day. I definitely learned a few things--like Germans originally used badgers to forecast the length of winter. However, when German settlers came to Pennsylvania, they chose the groundhog to have the honor of forecasting the end of winter.
There also is a Groundhog Day website for all of the festivities. I don't know why I never thought to give this site a gander. I guess I have never really given Groundhog Day its due. (Perhaps that is why a groundhog tried to attack me years ago.) There are some fun facts on the site, historical facts, past webcasts, and more. There is a section for teachers that has a number of activities including a recipe for groundhog cookies. Very interesting!
During my adventure around the web, I also learned about the Woollybear Festival in Vermilion, Ohio. During the Woollybear Festival, fuzzy caterpillars are used to predict the type of winter we will have. The severity of the winter is predicted based on the amount of black on the woollybears. This event has been held for 40 years. I had no idea about it until today!