This is the famous Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day is a tradition in the United States and Canada that celebrates a groundhog's emergence from his winter den. Superstition holds that if a groundhog sees his shadow as he leaves the burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If the groundhog does not see his shadow, you can expect an early spring. Native Americans also have traditions of animals predicting the weather, and groundhogs figure prominently in their religions and mythology.
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Photos:Punxsutawney Phil and his festive friends
The Easter Bunny has long been associated with Christianity's most important holiday. Rabbits are an ancient symbol of fertility, the moon and spring. In Germany, springtime celebrations including a magical egg-laying hare called Osterhase helped lay the foundations for Easter baskets full of eggs and other goodies.
Easter ducklings, like their feathery friends the chicks, also have a history as Easter gifts. It's hard to resist the fluffy down of a 2-week-old duckling. Ducks make excellent and loyal pets, according to animal expert Marc Morrone, but they are difficult to care for as babies, and are often abandoned at local ponds after Easter.
Spiders are also associated with Halloween imagery, thanks in part to their historic association with ancient religions. The myths surrounding gods and supernatural beings who can predict the future or plot fate are often associated with spinning, thread, weaving and spider webs. But after all, spiders can be scary -- some bite! -- and spooky imagery is part of the Halloween tradition.