Punxsutawney Phil death rumours debunked: the Groundhog day groundhog is alive and well.
Happy Groundhog Day! Yes, that’s right, although a lot of the past year has made us all feel like Bill Murray in the movie of the same name, today, 2 February, is officially Groundhog Day in the US. But is the all-seeing groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, dead?
What is Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day is a North American tradition celebrated every year on February 2.
The groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is coaxed out of his burrow on this day in Gobbler’s Knob – a park just outside of Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania – by top hat-and-tuxedo clad members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
According to tradition, if the groundhog comes out of his burrow and sees his own shadow, he’ll get scared and run back – signalling six more weeks of winter weather.
If the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, it means an early spring is on the cards.
Punxsutawney Phil has predicted 103 forecasts for winter and just 17 for an early spring.
Last year, the groundhog predicted an early spring for 2020 – however, he sadly wasn’t able to predict the crazy year we’ve all had!
Punxsutawney Phil death rumours
No, the rumours of Punxsutawney Phil’s death aren’t true – he is thankfully very much alive and still predicting!
In fact, today he made his prediction for the year ahead.
Although Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, he also promised we’ll see one of the most beautiful springs ever after that. Hope you’re right, Phil!
The rumour that Punxsutawney Phil is dead may have emerged from an incident involving the mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, in 2014.
He was invited to the Staten Island Zoo for Groundhog Day festivities in 2014. While there, he accidentally dropped the zoo’s 10-month-old groundhog, Charlotte, who sadly died of “internal injuries” a few weeks later.
However, the zoo didn’t blame the New York mayor for Charlotte’s death.
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