Lonely Planet Writer

From Groundhog Day to mock zebra escapes: around the world in 6 pictures

It’s Groundhog Day in the US and Candlemas Day in parts of Europe, both beloved and peculiar celebrations. The first sees the celebration of a groundhog, and the other is a day for polishing candles. Here are the images of the day from around the world.

"Modern Express" is towed as it drifts off the coast of France
“Modern Express” is towed as it drifts off the coast of France Image by PA

In this photo provided by the Prefecture Maritime Atlantique, the 164-meter (538-foot) cargo ship Modern Express is towed as it drifts off the coast of France. Rescuers successfully diverted the cargo ship threatening to run aground in southwestern France after five days adrift, and started towing it Tuesday toward the Spanish port of Bilbao.

New Horizons at Somerset House
New Horizons at Somerset House Image by PA

New Horizons by Trevor Tennant, 1963, on display at Somerset House in London as part of their Out There: Our Post-War Public Art exhibition. The exhibit celebrates England’s fascinating yet forgotten national collection of public art. Many pieces have been lost, damaged, moved or even destroyed, others saved, celebrated and widely loved. Historic England, formerly English Heritage, will explain why post war public art matters, how it might be looked after better and what we can all do to help save it.

Martaza Ahmadi, a five-year-old Afghan Lionel Messi fan
Martaza Ahmadi, a five-year-old Afghan Lionel Messi fan

Martaza Ahmadi, a five-year-old Afghan Lionel Messi fan, plays football at the Afghan Football Federation Stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Tuesday 2 February. The Afghan Football Federation plans to set up a meeting between Messi and Ahmadi, who became an internet sensation when photos circulated of him wearing an improvised Messi shirt made from a plastic bag.

Cecilia Laurent is thought to be the oldest woman alive
Cecilia Laurent is thought to be the oldest woman alive Image by PA

Cecilia Laurent is seen in her home  in Laval, Quebec on Monday. Laurent, who celebrated her 120th birthday Sunday, is thought to be the oldest person alive.

Punxsutawney Phil is the most important groundhog on groundhog day
Punxsutawney Phil is the most important groundhog on groundhog day

Inner Circle President Bill Deeley shows Punxsutawney Phil to tourists ahead of Groundhog Day which is celebrated today. Members of the Inner Circle planned to reveal their forecast at sunrise Tuesday. A German legend says that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on 2 February, winter will last an additional six weeks. If not, spring comes early. In reality, Phil’’s “prediction” is decided ahead of time by the group.

A mock giraffe at the Japanese zoo tries to escape
A mock zebra at the Japanese zoo tries to escape. Image by PA

Employees at Ueno Zoo use a net to capture a mock zebra during an emergency drill, in Tokyo, on Tuesday. The zoo created the scenario to rehearse procedures for an actual zebra escape.