Groundhog Day happens every February 2. The current tradition has a fuzzy little weather predicting rodent popping his head out of the ground and predicting whether we’re going to have an early spring or long winter. But what do you really know about Groundhog Day?

Candlemas Day

In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania first started this tradition in the US. Their original tradition, Candlemas Day, stemmed from the clergy blessing candles to distribute to people in the dark of winter. Handed down originally from Roman Times, the Germans took it a step further by introducing a sacred Bear or Badger to predict the weather.

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, scientific name Marmota Monax, are not long-lived creatures. Typically living six to eight years, and weighing in at 12 to 15 pounds, they are small and mostly herbivorous eating fruits and vegetables.

Each fall they go into hibernation where their body temperatures will drop significantly and their heart rates will slow to just five bpm. During this time they can lose 30 percent of their body fat. February is when the male groundhog comes out of their borough for a short period looking for a mate (not typically to predict the weather).

They then come out of hibernation in March.

Modern Groundhog Day folklore dictates that if the chosen groundhog emerges from his borough and casts a shadow then winter will last six more weeks. If the groundhog does not cast a shadow then spring will arrive early. Contrary to popular belief, the groundhog does not actually have to see his own shadow.

The most famous of the groundhog celebrants is known as Punxsutawney Phil. His full title, however, is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary." He was named the US‘s only true weather forecasting groundhog in 1887 by the editor of the local paper, the Punxsutawney Spirit.

But there are other celebrity Groundhogs celebrated across North America. Just to name a few, Woodstock, Illinois is where you will find Woodstock Willie, Hagerstown, Virginia is where you will find Felix the Groundhog, and Wiarton, Ontario, Canada is home to Wiarton Willie.

But how accurate are these celebrity rodents? While it is fun to watch, apparently Punxsutawney Phil is only accurate around 39 percent of the time. A flip of the coin is accurate about 50 percent of the time so he’s not doing very well. His predictions since 1988 seem to have improved greatly though, he is now 46 percent accurate.

Bill Murray

Of course, the most famous "Groundhog Day" is the movie by Bill Murray. Since it’s 1993 release, attendance at Groundhog Day celebrations has dramatically increased according to Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day organizers.

Now rather than weather prediction, Groundhog Day has become a term defining somebody doomed to repeat the same thing over and over again.