Imbolc Valentine Moon
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again. an English Poem
Ground Hog Day. Candlemas. The Meeting of the Lord. (Serbian, on Feb. 15, same as Feb. 2 in the Julian calendar) An ancient European tradition proposed either a badger (German) or a bear (Serbian), who would come out of hibernation, see bright sun and go back to sleep or see a cloudy day and wake up for the year. The bright sun presaged six more weeks of cold weather.(Hans Holbein. Presentation of Jesus, Candlemas)
Linked with Candlemas–the Feast Day of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple–on February 2nd, this ancient pagan tradition came to be observed on this Roman Catholic holy day created to displace Imbolc. The Meeting of the Lord, the Serbian feast day of the Presentation, posits that if a bear come awake on that day and see the sun, then six more weeks of winter would follow. (see Groundhog Day, wikipedia)
The groundhog got connected to this legend in the Pennsylvania German community. The formal wear at the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania event gives the whole tradition a satirical nudge that makes it delightful. At least to me.