And there was I thinking Groundhog Day was a quaint American tradition, as in the movie. Then I find in Les Miserables:
One day, in the course of this winter, the sun shone a little in the afternoon, but it was the second of February, that ancient Candlemas-day whose treacherous sun, the precursor of six weeks of cold, inspired Matthew Laensberg with these two lines, which have deservedly become classic:
Qu’il luise ou qu’il luiserne,
L’ours rentre en sa caverne.
What intrigues me is not that the American tradition has European parallels or origins, but that the same weather tradition should be considered valid in two such different climate systems.