What is Groundhog Day and how social media found new meaning under Covid-19 lockdown?

Updated on Feb 02, 2021 09:27 PM IST

Social media users expressed their lockdown fatigue, saying they are experiencing their own private Groundhog Day.

Punxsutawney Phil's handler A.J. Dereume holds the famous groundhog during a socially distanced event in Pennsylvania, US.(REUTERS)
Punxsutawney Phil's handler A.J. Dereume holds the famous groundhog during a socially distanced event in Pennsylvania, US.(REUTERS)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, New Delhi

The United States marked Groundhog Day on Tuesday but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced thousands of people to celebrate the pop culture virtually. Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw its own shadow which, according to the legend, meant there will be six more weeks of winter.

What is Groundhog Day?

The annual tradition, which has its origin in a German legend about a furry rodent, is celebrated every year on February 2 in the United States and has been part of its pop culture for many years. The legend of Groundhog Day dictates that if a groundhog emerges on this day from its burrow and sees its own shadow, it will return to its den and the winter will extend for six more weeks. On this day, people hold events around the country and weather reporters Live broadcast the so-called weather prediction.

However, this year has been different due to the ongoing pandemic and social media users have compared the day with the hit 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. In the movie, actor Bill Murray played the character of weatherman Phil who was sent to cover the event for a news channel. After arriving in Punxsutawney town of Pennsylvania, he wakes up the next day and relives it over and over again.

What’s the pandemic connection?

At the beginning of the last spring, governments around the world started imposing movement restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease. While vaccines have rolled out in several countries to provide immunity against the disease, social distancing measures are still in place with different variants of virus creating concern for authorities. Social media users said that the pandemic has made every day a Groundhog Day as they are forced to stay at home. They expressed their lockdown fatigue, saying they are experiencing their own private Groundhog Day.

Here are some of the reactions on social media:

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