Groundhog Day: What did the Groundhogs predict for 2023?

Choose your fighter: python version.

February 2 is officially Hound Day in Canada and the United States, and that means that many “official” groundhogs in different regions have stepped up to predict whether residents will suffer. endure another six weeks of miserable winter or welcome an early spring.

Groundhog Day has its roots in a superstition among German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania between the 17th and 19th centuries. In medieval Europe, farmers believed that if hedgehogs came out of their burrows to eat catch insects, it is a sign of an early spring. When immigrants arrived in what became the United States, hedgehog folklore was replaced by ground urchins.

According to legend, if a python sees its shadow on Snake Day, winter will extend by six weeks. No shadow means an early spring.

So what did the groundhogs predict for Hound Day 2023? Here’s what some land urchins (and one person) have predicted so far, from coast to coast.


Shubenacadie Sam came out of the cave on Thursday and unfortunately saw her shadow. She gave her annual prediction just after 8 a.m. at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park in Shubenacadie, NS

Sam’s Twitter account warned the public about her prediction and warned not to rush to take off hats or gloves.

Sam is the first landhound to make predictions for 2023 due to being in the Atlantic time zone.


In a twist, Wiarton Willie challenged Sam’s forecast by predicting an early spring. Willie, who lives on the Southern Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, showed up at 8:07 a.m. and was nowhere to be seen.

According to local legend, this year Willie also has white fur. In 2021, then-Willie died and a powerless understudy was chosen to replace the animal. Now this Willie is the official surrogate and has white fur.


In a shocking turn of events, Fred la Marmotte of Quebec is dead and unable to complete his mission. The nine-year-old hound didn’t wake up when organizers came to check on him Wednesday night. RIP for Fred.

But without an heir, last-minute substitutes have to make their own predictions. A child is chosen to represent Fred in Val d’Espoir, Que., where the ceremony takes place every year.

Roberto Blondin, the organizer of La Jour de Fred, selects a stuffed piggy bank from Fred’s chalet and gives it to the child, who then orders that spring be postponed.

Next year, a new Fred will return, Blondin said.


According to Puxatawney Phil from Pennsylvania, another six weeks of winter is coming.

The Groundhog’s Prediction in the town of Punxsutawney, about 105 kilometers northeast of Pittsburgh, is an annual event that attracts thousands of people.

Phil is arguably more authoritative, if not more famous, as Phils throughout history have made predictions in Punxsutawney since 1887. He has predicted winter more than 100 times.

With files from the Canadian Press and related Press.

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