Ontario’s Wiarton Willie says he did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day and is predicting an early spring for 2021.
“Well folks, my prediction is official,” the groundhog posted on Twitter.
“With cloudy skies and snow falling upon us this morning in Wiarton it was very hard to find my shadow — even with all the camera lights around! Fans of spring rejoice, an Early Spring is around the corner,” he said Tuesday.
Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, it will retreat into its burrow, heralding six more weeks of cold weather.
No shadow is said to foretell that spring-like temperatures are on the way.
Over the years, crowds of people have shown up to see the groundhog give its prediction. Yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event went virtual and a pre-recorded video was posted online Tuesday morning.
However, Willie did not appear in the video and instead a white fur hat was tossed into the air. The official declaration that “it’s an early spring” was said by Mayor Janice Jackson of South Bruce Peninsula in the video.
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam did not see his shadow as well and predicted the same outcome — an early spring.
In Quebec, Fred La Marmotte also predicted an early spring after his handler held him to his ear.
— With files from The Canadian Press.