The weather marmot Fred is dead: he couldn't predict the length of winter
Steph Deschamps / February 3, 2023
Sad discovery this Thursday. The weather marmot "Fred" has passed away. Every year in February, the Canadian groundhog "Fred" and his companions predict the duration of winter.
This true secular and folk tradition in North America follows the same ritual. The marmots come out of their burrows to predict a more or less long winter. Except that Fred, the Canadian rodent, was found dead on Thursday. In Val-d'Espoir, Quebec, the organizer of this unusual annual event, Roberto Blondin, found the animal lifeless Thursday morning while trying to bring it out of hibernation and announced to the public "the death of Fred," according to Radio-Canada.
According to tradition, under a beautiful sun like this Thursday, if the marmot had seen his shadow when he came out of his burrow, the meteorologists could have predicted six more weeks of winter. To respect the tradition, despite the death of the mammal, the Quebec organizers have brandished a marmot ... in plush, allowing its shadow to predict a very late spring.
But fortunately Fred's friend Phil is alive and well. He has predicted another 6 weeks of winter in North America.
The tradition of the weather marmot, which falls on February 2 each year, was imported to the United States by German farmers who relied on the animal's behavior to know when to plant their fields. If the groundhog sees its shadow, because the day is sunny, its Punxsutawney keepers conclude that winter will last another six weeks and that the animal can return to hibernate.