Groundhog Day 2021: The best lockdown memes and tweets as Punxsutawney Phil forecasts more winter
AP Photo/Barry Reeger

It’s been apparent for some time in England that there’s likely about six more weeks of winter left to endure in the form of lockdown – with Boris Johnson and his merry band saying they hope schools might start to return by 8 March. 

In a somewhat stricter meteorological sense, this grim forecast appears to have been echoed across the Atlantic by the legendary psychic marmot, Punxsutawney Phil, during his annual Groundhog Day appearance.

The Pennsylvania tradition – which suggests that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow only to see its own shadow due to clear skies and scurry back inside, then winter will endure for another six weeks – is thought to have possibly arrived on American shores thanks to Dutch and German migrants and eventually merged with the Christian Candlemas tradition.

While long-acknowledged across North America, having taken place on 2 February for more than a century, the tradition has since drawn even greater attention with the arrival of the 1993 film of the same name.

Starring Bill Murray as a cynical news reporter who becomes stuck in a time loop on Groundhog Day and is forced to repeatedly cover the day’s events at Gobbler’s Knob, the term has also become synonymous with monotony and drudge.

After months of coronavirus lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing, it’s safe to say that many felt particular affinity with the concept this year.

Others couldn’t help but get political.

Some reactions felt more pointed than others over the current restrictions.

Others really stepped up to make the most of the situation…

Punksutawney Phil himself was even forced to defend himself from abuse.

But ultimately Phil left us with a message of hope.

While the typical crowds were absent due to the pandemic, members of Phil's “inner circle” attended the event, waking the woodchuck at 7:25am at Gobbler's Knob.

Shortly after Phil's prediction was revealed, one of the members of the inner circle shared a message he said Phil had told him earlier in the day, echoing the sentiment of the *totally legitimate* account above: “After winter, you're looking forward to one of the most beautiful and brightest springs you've ever seen.”

More: How drawing my feelings helped my mental health during lockdown

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