Each year, on February 2, the groundhog peeks its head out of its burrow (the place under the ground where it lives all winter). If the groundhog sees its shadow, it becomes frightened and immediately runs back underground to sleep. That means winter will last 6 more weeks. 🙁 If the groundhog does not see its shadow, that means spring will come early. 🙂
Groundhogs (called woodchucks in England and similar to badgers in other parts of Europe) are a member of the squirrel family, although they are larger. Normally, the groundhog hibernates all winter; before going into hibernation, it has to eat a lot. Groundhogs have front paws that can hold food like hands when they eat.
Groundhogs dig long tunnels underground where they live; each tunnel has different ‘rooms’, including a sleeping area, an area for babies, and a separate toilet – groundhogs like to be very clean!
The most famous groundhog in Canada is ‘Wiarton Willie’. Willie has been predicting when winter will end for over 55 years. Each year on February 2nd, in the dark and early morning, towns’ folk and fans from all over come out to see Willie‘s prediction in the town of Wiarton, located on Georgian Bay which is part of Lake Huron (north and west of Toronto).
So, all you EC Toronto students, don’t forget to check the news on February 2! Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter?
Your EC Toronto Team