Not to be confused with Groundhog Day (which first began on February 2, 1887), this weird holiday is actually a Roman holiday where hedgehogs were used to help predict the end of winter. This ancient Roman legend said that if a hedgehog was seen at the beginning of February, it meant warm weather was on its way.
There are fourteen different species of hedgehogs around the world, and they are historically sometimes called urchin and hedgepig. Hedgehogs are omnivores that rely on their sense of smell to find food. They are nocturnal and are covered in spines, and surprisingly, the spines are actually hollow hairs made stiff with keratin.
Hedgehogs hibernate during the winter from November to March, but they wake up several times throughout the months to change nests. This is probably why they are sometimes seen in February. Tragically about 67% of hedgehogs don’t survive their first winter, especially if food has been scarce.
During the summer months, hedgehogs enjoy hiding in gardens and eating the insects that are found around your plants. They also like hiding in stacked wood for bonfires, so be careful to check before lighting them.
Hedgehogs are often used as pets becuase they are low maintenance and hypoallergenic. They are solitary creatures, so they are content with only a small amount of attention each day.
Ideas for National Hedgehog Day
Other than adopting a pet hedgehog, here are some ideas on how you can celebrate.
Hedgehogs are one of the cutest little woodland animals, and with their distinctive shape they make an ideal creature for children’s crafts. Use National Hedgehog Day to help your child learn to sew and improve their fine motor skill siwth this fun felt hedgehog sewing craft.
These free Printable Hedgehog Templates are ideal for coloring, crafting, classroom projects, and lesson plans that celebrate National Hedgehog Day. They include small, medium, and large hedgehog outlines in two different styles and a hedgehog writing template.
When you think of Hedgehogs, the first thing that comes to mind is probably their cute and spiny exterior. But have you ever considered the artistic potential of these animals? On National Hedgehog Day, learn how to use a fork to make a hedgehog art project!