A groundhog (=marmota) is a small animal that digs and lives under the ground. It is also called the woodchuck. Groundhogs live in many parts of America. In the winter they hibernate like bears and some other animals.
There is a legend that says a few hundred years ago Europeans brought Groundhog Day to America. They said that the ground og wakes up from his hibernation on February 2. (February 2 is half way between winter and spring.) If he comes up from his hole and it is sunny, he will see his shadow and be frightened. If he sees his shadow, there will be 6 more weeks of winter weather. But if he comes up and the sky is cloudy, he will not see his shadow and will not be frightened. Then spring weather will come very soon.
Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2011, at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA:
Here Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye
Groundhog Day, February 2, 2011
Punxsutawney Phil was raised from his burrow
By the call of President Bill Deeley.
He greeted his handlers, Ben Hughes and John Griffiths.
After casting an inquisitive eye towards thousands of his faithful followers,
He proclaimed that the Steelers are going to the Super Bowl!
Back to the business at hand...
He surveyed his surroundings carefully and found that there was no shadow around,
So, an early spring it will be./