Back in the 1700's European settlers game to America and brought with them the tradition of Candlemas Day. Candlemas Day came half way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Tradition says that if it was nice on that day, the second half of Winter would be stormy and cold. It was the Hedgehog that was watched closely with hope that he'd not see his shadow. In America, there were no hedgehogs. So they adopted the groundhog as the new world's weather forecaster. They chose the ground hog as it wintered underground like the hedgehog and because the Native Americans in the region respected the animal claiming that the groundhog was a wise and sensible animal.Ground hog's Day is an American holiday, it has European roots. Here is an old English saying:
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.