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Groundhog Day 2021 prediction announced

The 135-year tradition of Groundhog Day took place at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania as Punxsutawney Phil made his proclaimation, but will it be winter or spring?

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Groundhog Day 2021 prediction announced
ALAN FREED REUTERS

Continuing a centuries-old tradition, a groundhog by the name of Punxsutawney Phil has risen from his slumber to cast his prediction for the next six weeks. Every year onlookers gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to hear what Phil has to say.

This year’s spectacle was unlike any other with the coronavirus pandemic preventing the usual crowds. However members of Punxsutawney Phil’s ‘Inner Circle’ were there to pass on his declaration to those following along online.

The 2021 prediction will be of little surprise to anyone watching pictures of the ongoing snowfall in Pennsylvania: six more weeks of winter before the arrival of spring.

Groundhog Day prediction: more winter on the way

The Pennsylvania tradition of Groundhog Day sees a prognosticating groundhog make a prediction on 2 February each year, deciding whether spring is here, or if six more weeks of winter are on the way.

The process start when the critter, known as Punxsutawney Phil, is woken by his inner circle to cast a prediction on the changing of the seasons. He ‘announces’ his prediction to them and they dutifully pass on the news to the watching crowds.

This time around it was not good news for those eager for a bit of springtime sun, as Phil said that there’s six more weeks of winter on the cards. However it should be pointed out that Punxsutawney Phil thinks it will be worth the wait.

One of his inner circle said after the announcement: "After winter, you're looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brightest springs you've ever seen."

Punxsutawney tradition immortalised in film

The celebration of ‘Groundhog Dog’ in the United State goes back into the 19th century as Pennsylvania residents eagerly awaited news about the arrival of spring. They tradition goes that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on the second day of February, another six weeks of winter are on the way.

The earliest recorded mention of this come from the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper from 1886, which read: "up to the time of going to press, the beast has not seen its shadow".

Groundhog Day was immortalised in the 1993 film of the same name starring Bill Murray. In the film Murray’s character is forced to relive the same day over and over again.

With pandemic restrictions still in place across the US some have been comparing that Groundhog Day experience to the current situation, but Punxsutawney Phil’s inner circle thinks otherwise:

"People have been referencing Groundhog Day. It has felt like at times we're all living the same day over and over again," one of the members said. "Groundhog Day also shows us that the monotony ends. The cycle will be broken."

"Today actually is Groundhog Day, there's only one," he added. "There is quite literally a new day coming over the horizon."