… 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. 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. The holiday also bears some similarities to the medieval Catholic holiday of Candlemas. 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.
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.