Wednesday, March 22

Milltown Mel groundhog dies shortly before having to predict the end of winter in New Jersey

This Groundhog Day will be different: Milltown Mell, the groundhog who went out to predict the end of winter in New Jersey, has died a few days before his usual announcement, forcing the event that usually takes place there to be suspended .

“We are sad to report that Milltown Mell has crossed the rainbow bridge,” they reported on their Facebook profile on Monday.

We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge. Considering the average…

Posted by Milltown Mel on Sunday, January 30, 2022

As they have explained, given the life expectancy of the marmots, death did not cause them “a shock”, but they did admit that it occurred “at a difficult time of year”, since the rest of the “companions” are hibernating. For this reason, added to the fact that there will be no babies until spring, this February 2 the characteristic ritual will not take place. Also, due to sanitary conditions, they hadn’t rented the Showmobile stage for it either. “We are going to work hard to get a new weather forecast for next year,” they have promised in the note.

The tradition of Groundhog Day

Every February 2nd, Groundhog Day is celebrated. According to tradition in the US and Canada, if these animals see their shadows due to clear weather, they will run back to their burrows and the message will be that winter will last six more weeks. If, on the other hand, it’s cloudy and they can’t see their shadows, it means that spring will come sooner.

Although the celebration has been suspended in New Jersey, the event will take place in Punxsutawney, where the groundhog Phil is expected to come out of his burrow to make his usual forecast. The moment can be followed live, at 1:15 p.m. – Spanish peninsular time – in the following video:

The celebration of Groundhog Day has religious origins: hundreds of years ago, in Europe, on Candlemas Day – February 2nd – priests distributed candles among parishioners. If it was sunny, it meant winter would last a few more weeks. If, on the other hand, it was cloudy, spring would come sooner.

In Germany, the tradition was ‘adapted’ with hedgehogs: if Candlemas was sunny and a hedgehog could see its shadow, there would be another second winter. If it wasn’t clear, there would be little left for spring. Later, the Germans emigrated to the US and there they changed the hedgehogs for marmots and, since then, every February 2, a marmot is in charge of predicting when the cold will end.

The death of Milltown Mell has also reached social networks, where users have been in charge of predicting what 2022 will be like, since there will be no celebration, and have left phrases such as “the weather is going to be dead “, “the one that awaits us” or “this year paints badly again”.