No Groundhog Day in Canada. Yesterday, on the day dedicated to the holiday which is celebrated in the United States and Canada and is centered on the metaphorical awakening of a monax marmot, the famous specimen named Fred was found dead in his den. Tradition has it that if the groundhog emerges from his shelter and cannot see his shadow because the weather is cloudy then winter will soon end. If, on the other hand, he sees his shadow because it’s a beautiful day, the winter will be extended by six weeks.
Discovery in Canada
There was anticipation in Val-d’Espoir, Quebec, for the ceremony that every year sees the awakening of the rodent. After forty minutes of singing and dancing a few meters from Fred’s shelter, with hundreds of people waiting and the television crews ready to resume the awakening, some of the organizers began to get suspicious because the marmot would not come out of the hole. After a check, the discovery: Fred was dead. “The groundhog had no vital signs,” the event organizer commented briefly. According to the reconstruction of the experts, the rodent – which was nine years old – could have died in late autumn or early December.
The tradition is more than a century old but has become a cult appointment thanks to Hollywood. Groundhog Day became world famous with the film released in ’93, I’m starting over, starring Bill Murray as a cynical weather reporter who finds himself reliving the same day almost over and over again. The groundhog in the film was Punxsutawney Phil, named after the town in southern Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney, where the story takes place. The Phil of the film has been dead for years, but the heirs, all obviously named Phil, continue to make their predictions. This year’s one included six more weeks of winter.