|Home | Welcome | What's New | Site Map | Glossary | Weather Doctor Amazon Store | Book Store | Accolades | Email Us|
Question: I am requesting information on the weather phenomenon known as cabanuelas in Mexico. What I know about it was told to me by my grandfather when I was a young child and I do not recall the exact details.
Answer: You almost had me stumped here. I had never heard of the term previously, although when I did find a definition, I did recognize the lore, which is similar in other cultures. Cabanuelas is weather folklore rather than a phenomenon.
Here is a group of links that give Spanish discussions of Cabanuelas: http://home4.worldonline.es/astromet/pastor6.htm
My Spanish is not as good as it was decades ago, but fortunately one site was in English. According to it, the lore of Cabanuelas uses the first twelve days of January to predict the weather for the twelve coming months. January 1 for January weather; January 2 for February weather; etc.
Further, they say: "Cabanuelas comes from the word cabana - a shelter or small house - and the twelve days "house" the prognostication. La fiesta de las cabanuelas is of Jewish origin and attests to a diversified cultural heritage. Arab and Jewish cultures were a part of the Spanish heritage inherited by Mexican-Americans of the area."
Another source which Google translated from Spanish attributes the practice to the Aztec/Mayans who used a different calendar (18 "months"). See: http://www.acqweather.com/cabanuelas.htm
The lore is also used in Central America, Cuba, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. I have heard similar lore attributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, the twelve days following the winter solstice and the first twelve days of the new year.
The lore might work to some degree in the tropics because weather is so constant month to month, but otherwise has no scientific basis.
Learn More From These Books Chosen by The Weather Doctor
The Weather Doctor's Weather Almanac Cabanuelas
To Purchase Notecard,
Now Available! Order Today!
NEW! Now Available in the US!
The BC Weather Book: