It’s no coincidence that Ground Hog Day should fall on Imbolc, and it’s not just the timing or the ritual, that link the two pagan traditions, but it began with the Romans and when they swept through the ancient Isles with Christianity, they brought their friend the Hedge hog along as the predictor of the weather.
Brigid was already celebrated and the lore of Brigids Snake was said to come out of a cave and tell of the weather. But as the Romans overtook the world and folded the Pagan traditions into the Christian traditions, the ritual of the Hedge Hog persisted, and finally fell upon the Germans, who carried it throughout the centuries to Pennsylvania. The closest thing to a hedgehog they saw was a ground hog, and thus the American tradition emerged. And while, in fact, Imbolc is the basket for many different holidays and Brigid was celebrated by ancient people all over the world, it is Ground Hog Day that captured the American mind. ..read more