Groundhog Day 2019: the strange US tradition has its roots in Christianity (Image: GETTY)
Groundhog Day has its origins in a Christian holiday called Candlemas. Candlemas is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40.
The Candlemas festival involved faithful Christians carrying candles to church to have them blessed.
The blessings were supposed to help protect households for the duration of winter.
According to the Candlemas tradition, if the weather was still and calm during the festival winter would return again.
However, if conditions were blustery and chilly, winter would not come back for another year.
READ MORE: Groundhog Day 2019: When does the groundhog emerge on Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day 2019: Groundhog handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil after he saw his shadow (Image: GETTY)
The myth’s migration to Germany saw the introduction of a hedgehog - if the hedgehog was to observe his own shadow on the day, winter would come around once again for six weeks.
Today's Groundhog Day tradition follows a similar logic, with the strange myth saying a native rodent can predict the severity of the winter.
Once the German people