Why a groundhog?

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

Happy Groundhog Day!

Why is it a groundhog anyway, have you ever wondered?

Well firstly, February 2nd was a church holiday, and it was called Candlemas, where all the people brought their candles to be blessed. 

In Germany, people then took this a little further and adopted a "hedgehog" or "badger" and used it to predict the weather and how long winter was going to last. They believed these animals interrupted their hibernation and would then decide how long winter was going to last. If the sun was shining and the animal saw its shadow then winter was going to last another six weeks. However, if it was cloudy then this was an indication that the weather was going to be mild and Spring would come early,

When Germans moved to America and settled down, they could not find any hedgehogs. So, they adopted groundhogs who looked like badgers and were plentiful in the areas where they were settling.

And that is how we ended up with Groundhog Day. Have a good one, because the Groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted another six weeks of winter. 

Remember, Winter can be a good time to list or buy a home, when there is generally less competition, although with the low inventories we have been experiencing there is a lot of pent up demand. Contact Nick Vandekar, Selling the Main Line and Chester County, with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543, email Nick@VandekarTeam.com.



Photo courtesy of Ralph Katlieb on Unsplash.

Posted by


Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

92 Lancaster Avenue
Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
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If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
we can help you, contact us.

Comments (18)

Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Hey right across the Chester Co. , Quarryville has a Groundhog Lounge . The Southern End has Octorara Orphie . They have all their members dressed the same as they parade with Orphie 

Feb 02, 2023 08:01 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

very interesting history! I wonder why the cloudy weather indicated that spring would come sooner ..

Feb 02, 2023 08:06 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Nick - I don't recall seeing a groundhog and don't believe I could pick one from a line-up if requested.  So, there is that.  

Feb 02, 2023 08:12 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Michael J. Perry I did not k now that, our very own superstar.

Lise Howe I think because of the clouds it was an indication of rain and warmer weather.

Michael Jacobs we have a lot of groundhogs in our area. My son had one under his deck and another under his shed.

Feb 02, 2023 08:18 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Nick and great way of explaining how this event became a tradition for Phil.  I have friends that goes there every year to see Phil.


Feb 02, 2023 08:19 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Thanks for this bit of history, Nick... I kind of knew this "way back when," but totally forgot.

Feb 02, 2023 08:32 AM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor"

Thanks for the history of groundhog...



Feb 02, 2023 08:40 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543  Love this post I had no idea why they picked a Groundhog but I do know that Phil is usually right. We have however had a very warm winter. The next 2 days should be rather cold. Today is beautiful for Phil's prediction   

Feb 02, 2023 10:01 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

If the history of that rodent comes from Germany, just maybe he was coming out for bratz and a beer?

Feb 02, 2023 02:09 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I think the hedgehog would be cute, but I do not know about a badger.  That sounds a little sketchy!  😉

Feb 02, 2023 07:06 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Nick- I never knew why a groundhog represented more winter weather or any of the history behind it!  Thank you for sharing this. 

Feb 02, 2023 07:24 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nick I knew there was a German connection not all the details, Happy Ground Hog Day to you, Endre

Feb 02, 2023 10:33 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I participated in Candlemas but I did not participate in Groundhog day, haha.  Our winters aren't anything to be scared of here.

Feb 03, 2023 05:11 AM
Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

I did not know the background but my grandma used to watch Phil's forecast then pull out the old Farmer's Almanac to compare what they predicted. I wonder which was more accurate!

Feb 03, 2023 11:12 PM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Good history lesson on the Ground Hog.  Thank you for sharing.  And at least for North Idaho I had no doubts of 6 weeks more of winter.  Been a long one already.  mdm

Feb 07, 2023 09:31 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Will Hamm it is quite an event I have been told.

Nina Hollander, Broker  you are welcome.

Shayne Stone I like the visual graphic.

Hannah Williams I am tired of the cold.

Ed Silva I would come out for bratz and a beer

Feb 07, 2023 10:51 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Ray Henson hedgehogs can be cute, I think our badgers in Europe are more the size of ground hogs.

Kathy Streib a little fun.

Endre Barath, Jr. there always seems to be a German connection in our area.

Brian England Did you take your candles to be blessed

Diana Zaccaro Broker Associate probably the almanac


Feb 07, 2023 10:55 AM
Brian England

I did not, but I witnessed the ceremony, haha.

Feb 07, 2023 12:20 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho I cannot wait for Spring to roll around.

Feb 07, 2023 10:55 AM