For the second year in a row, prominent Canadian fur forecasters will deliver their seasonal predictions to a virtual audience.
In the interest of public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no crowds for Groundhog Day predictions in Nova Scotia and Ontario today.
Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, it will retreat to its burrow, a sign that winter will last another six weeks, and if it doesn’t, it can which means spring will come soon.
In Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam will emerge from her home to give her prediction around 7 a.m. ET.
About an hour later in Ontario, Wiarton Willie – a brown-eared porcupine stepping into the role this year instead of an albino – is expected to make his speculations.
Last year, Wiarton Willie did not appear in a video marking the day, with officials calling an early spring after tossing a fur hat into the air – a move they said was reminiscent of the early version. forerunner of the tradition more than 60 years ago.
Months later, the South Bruce Peninsula town, home to the Wiarton community, publicly admitted that Willie had died of an abscessed tooth.
Mayor Janice Jackson said the albino rodent had died “long before The Last Hedgehog Day”, but did not specify when and noted that a brown brocade would take its place this year.
Meanwhile, in America, Punxsutawney Phil is about to dance around his house and make his prediction at the same time as Shubenacadie Sam. Audiences will be able to watch the festival live, but the American hedgehog’s predictions will also be broadcast virtual.
This Canadian Press report was first published on February 2, 2022.