The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

French Creek Freddie facts to get you ready for Groundhog Day


You might know French Creek Freddie as West Virginia’s most popular weather-predicting groundhog, but do you know the story of how Freddie started forecasting or how he got his name? Get ready for Groundhog Day celebration at the West Virginia State Wildlife Center on Feb. 2 by checking out these interesting facts about Freddie.

The origins of Groundhog Day can be traced back to Candlemas Day, the traditional conclusion to the Christmas-Epiphany season when clergy would bless and distribute candles. Due to Candlemas occurring at the beginning of February, many people used the holiday to give predictions on the arrival of spring. The Germans added to the tradition by giving the weather predicting duties to the badger. They believed that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, the badger would cast a shadow and that six more weeks of bad weather would follow. It wasn’t until German settlers came to America that the groundhog became the weather-predicting animal of choice.

Read more: