As the rest of the U.S. and Canada celebrates Groundhog Day…

… in Laredo, we have our own traditions. We often forget that the U.S. mainstream culture is based on protestant ideals where you pull yourself up by your bootstraps, are independent and somewhat rebellious. Protestant religions are the majority, Catholics are the minority. Those early settlers had a big impact! They did in Laredo, too, so we tend to follow more Catholic traditions and for Laredo, today is dia de la Candelaria aka, the day whoever got the baby in the rosca de reyes has to make tamales and champurrado for everyone else. It is Catholic Candlemas, 40 days after Christmas. Families gather together to present a baby Jesus at the temple. The tamales and champurrado are part of the home ceremony where a baby is put into a home temple and put away for the year. That is not bad memory for a non-Catholic :).

To best prepare you if you venture away from Laredo, this is what a groundhog looks like:

According to Wikipedia

Groundhog Day is a federal holiday celebrated on February 2. It is held in the United States and Canada. According to folklore, if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day fails to see its shadow, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter will soon end. If on the other hand, the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks.[1] The holiday, which began as a Pennsylvania German custom in southeastern and central Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore, wherein a badger or sacred bear is the prognosticator as opposed to a groundhog.[2] The holiday also bears some similarities to the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas.[3] It also bears similarities to the Pagan festival of Imbolc, the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar, which is celebrated on February 2 and also involves weather prognostication.[4]

By the way, Punkxy did see his shadow this morning, supposedly we will have 6 more weeks of winter. Laredo does have its own “groundhog” though. As soon as I find a picture of it, I will post it.


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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4 Responses to As the rest of the U.S. and Canada celebrates Groundhog Day…

  1. rick78 says:

    Yes the states which border other countries tend to have traditions of that country. I live close to the Cajun state and celebrate their traditions. Then there is Juneteenth it is religiously celebrated here as well. Then a small village loaded with Irish descendants have St. Patty’s day and WOW that is a nice celebration ! The sad part is when I fly the motherlands flag on Cinco de Mayo people get pissed but yet on their celebration they fly theirs and it is ok. No mainstream up here.

  2. Silverrabbit says:

    True! I’m laredoan yet I am more familiar with the dia de la candelaria festivity. Until I read ur blog I thought the groundhog shadow priciple to be backwards. When the groundhog sees his shadow that meant no more winter. Total ignorance, until today. Thanks 🙂

  3. Pingback: Year of the Rabbit or Cat on Candlemas | Que Fregados

  4. hotshot says:

    Wow! That is an interesting slant.

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