02:53 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths, center, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 131st celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney

    Groundhog Day 2017: Furry Forecasters Around the World

    © AP Photo / Gene J. Puskar
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    Famous American groundhog Phil from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, made his traditional weather forecast. He saw his shadow, which means that winter will last another six weeks. Find out prophesies of other rodents in different countries around the globe.

    At 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, Punxsutawney Phil woke up and came out of his burrow. Then he was put on a stump, where he made his 131st prediction.

    Groundhog Day is traditionally celebrated across the United States on February 2. According to the custom, on this day people carefully watch the oracular rodent crawl out of his hole to find out when spring should be expected. If the day is sunny and the groundhog sees his shadow, then winter will last another six weeks. If the animal does not see the shadow on the dull day, the spring season will arrive early.

    Russia celebrated Groundhog Day, too. However, Archi the groundhog in the Moscow zoo slept the whole day long and didn't make any forecasts. Zoo staff was not surprised: the animal did not wake up because the frosts were stronger than usual on this day, as they told Sputnik.

    Neither did the "predictors" at the Samara zoo, the groundhogs were sound asleep, which means winter will last until the beginning of April.

    Meanwhile, the Leningrad zoo canceled the celebration of Groundhog Day as their marmot Frol suddenly died and there were no other furry forecasters in the zoo to replace him.

    To mark the day, Russian channel TV1000 decided to show the 1993 fantasy-comedy film of the same name 12 times in a row, starting from three in the morning. "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray tells the story of a TV weatherman, who is stuck in a time loop and forced to live through the same day on February 2 again and again. In addition, the film was screened in cinemas of four Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg.

    In Canada, two main four-legged forecasters, Ontario's Wiarton Willie and Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam crawled out to predict an early spring.

    As for Ukraine, the spring should be expected very soon, too: Timka the groundhog was awake and active at the Biological Station of Kharkov National University, but he didn't see his shadow.


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    weather forecast, Groundhog Day, winter, spring, prediction, Canada, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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