Friday, December 6, 2013

Get Ready for Winter, the Folklore Way


 Did you know that if sun shines through the apple trees on Christmas day, it will guarantee a large apple crop the coming fall? That’s what the old folklore says. Apparently the sun shone brightly through apple trees last year where I live because there were apples galore this year.  Folklore also says that “the nearer the new moon to Christmas day, the harder the winter.” This year the new moon shown on us on December 2nd, with the next one die on January 1. We might be in for some weather if the January moon is the predicter.

We might also be able to determine the weather for coming months by paying attention to the wind on New Year’s Eve:

If New Year's Eve night-wind blows south, It betokeneth warmth and growth;
If west, much milk, and fish in the sea; If north, cold and storms there will be;
If east, the trees will bear much fruit; If north-east, flee it, man and brute!"

Farmers need to be watchful at calving, because if the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one. We can find out just how bad by counting how many days have passed since the new moon; the number will tell us how many big snowfalls we can expect during the season. And when it does snow, the same thing holds true as it does for rain--if the sun appears during the snowfall, there will be more snow the next day. There is some good that can come of a bad winter however, because a snowy winter is believed to bring a rich summer and fall. Old-timers would say that “a foot of snow will make things grow.” (Thanks to freeirishphotos for this perfect picture.)

Even though we may complain of winter’s cold and snow, almost everyone wants a white Christmas. I like to bring greenery into my house at the holidays; there is nothing prettier than fresh greens on a door or in a window, and snow blowing by outside. The best evergreens to bring into your home at Christmas are holly (the symbol of eternal life), ivy, rosemary, bay leaves and, of course, mistletoe.

Whatever December’s weather may bring there is one thing that is certain, assuming the Mayan calendar does not really predict the end of time: New Year’s Day will come and we will be welcoming in 2012. There are some things you might want to think about when planning your New Year’s celebrations. First, wear something new on New Year’s Day so that you will be more likely to receive new things in the year to come. And be sure you do something related to your work on the first day of the year. This doesn’t mean go to work or start a major project, but do something –and do it successfully—to ensure a good work year ahead.  Hold on to your money, too; don’t pay bills or lend money on January 1, otherwise you are sure to be paying all year long.


Folkloric wisdom is a lot remember if we want to ensure wealth, good weather and good luck by following the old folklore. Perhaps the best thing to do is let the weather and luck take care of themselves and focus on making our lives merry and bright in the coming winter months. I think I'll get back to work on my Christmas decorating. That will surely keep the cold and dark at bay.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

5 comments:

Sherrell said...

A very good post today Susanna - Thanks.

Granny Sue said...

Thanks, Sherrell. I am always intrigued by folk wisdom, especially when I have witnessed its verification. It does happen, although one has to wonder if it's just happenstance.

Michelle said...

I love learning about Folklore and have learned several new things today. Excellent post.

Nance said...

I'm going to remember not to loan money on New Years Day! We are still awaiting snow here, Sue, but I think you are in line (or already hit?) with snow, rain or ice? Hope you and yours are home, safe and sound.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

A lot of info there that I've never heard before. There's some truth in the apple idea - winter sunshine is usually when there are cold clear conditions and apples need a harsh winter to crop well, I wish I could remember the science behind that but I'm sure I read it somewhere!

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