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Christmas and Winter weather folklore

5 min read

Christmas and holiday season is full of weather folklore and proverbs, most of them with a logic: whatever the weather on Christmas Day, the opposite will happen later!
Here are some of our favorite Christmas sayings and winter proverbs.


We’ve often heard weather lore that suggests the weather at Christmastime (winter) affects the weather at Easter (spring).
In some cases, Christmas is set in opposition to Easter, perhaps representing the opposite poles of the Christian story.
One of the most popular folk belief is that “If at Christmas ice hangs on the willow, clover may be cut at Easter, indicating a good growing season“, and another “Christmas in snow, Easter in mud!

Another proverb says the same thing in a different way: “Green Christmas, white Easter.

And, similarly:
At Christmas meadows green, at Easter covered with frost“, but also “So many hours of Sun on Christmas Day, so many frosts in the month of May.

But, in any case, it seems that “Rain before Mass on the first Sunday in December means rain for a week“, and “If St. Lucy’s Day (December 13) be bright, Christmas day will be dark with snow; but if the snow falls on St. Lucy, Christmas will be clear and sunny.


Also when it comes to winter and snow, weather folklore abound.
Look to nature for signs of a cold winter or possibly a very snowy Christmas!
Do any of these age-old proverbs ring true to you?

If there’s thunder during Christmas week,
The winter will be anything but meek.

If Christmas day be bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.

For every fog in August, it is believed there will be a snowfall during winter.

Winter will be cold and snow if corn husks are thick and tight, apple skins are tough, and birds migrate early.

When flowers that usually bloom during the spring bloom again in the fall, winter will be cold.

If December is rainy, mild, and unsettled, the winter will not be harsh.

If it rains on Christmas, there will be four weeks with no sun.

And what about windy days?

The wind at the end of Midnight Mass will be the dominant wind in the coming year.

A windy Christmas is a sign of a good year to come.

If there is much wind on Christmas Day, trees will bear much fruit.

If the wind grows stormy before sunset on Christmas, expect sickness in the coming spring and autumn.


Much of the traditional weather folklore was about predicting the following year’s harvest:

If there is much wind on Christmas Day, trees will bear much fruit.

A green Christmas brings a heavy harvest.

When Christmas Eve is clear, our Lord will give us an abundance of wine and corn.

If the Sun shines through an apple tree on Christmas, there will be an abundant crop of apples in the coming year.

If the wind blows much on Stephen’s Day (December 26), the grapes will be bad in the next year.

A big berry crop means the following winter will be a cold one,” but “Lots of acorns and walnuts in the fall indicate a cold winter ahead“, too.

If December is cold and the earth is covered with snow, next year’s rye will be in abundance.”

If it snows on Christmas night, there will be a good crop of hops next year.


There are also many general proverbs and prognostications focused on frost and snow and, linked to the the opposites theme again.
For example, If sun is a bad sign, a hard freeze at Christmas is good, foretelling a mild winter.

Three white frosts and next a storm.

Heavy frosts are generally followed by fine, clear weather.

The north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow.

Snow for a se’nnight (week) is a mother to the earth, for ever after a stepmother.

When snow falls in the mud, it remains all winter.

When the first snowflakes are large, the snowstorm will be a lasting one. When they are small, the storm will be a short one.

When the snow falls dry, it means to lie.
But flakes light and soft bring rain oft.

When snow melts off the roof, the next storm will be rain. When the snow blows off, reckon on snow.

Moreover, the date of the first snow foretells the number of snowstorms for the winter: should the year’s first snow, for example, come down on the 11th of the month, you can expect 11 more storms before the winter’s done.
Take also a look at woolly worms. The thicker and more black bands they have, the more severe a winter will be. If they are rusty orange in color, however, winter will be mild.
If squirrels are busy storing lots of food in the fall, winter will be harsh. Bushy squirrel tales and nests built high in trees are also signs of a hard winter ahead and, a dark Christmas foretells that cows will give much milk.

And don’t forget that, when persimmon seeds are split in half, they reveal either a spoon, knife, or fork shape.
A knife indicates a winter that will be very cold, a spoon (which looks like a shovel!) predicts lots of snow, and a fork says winter will be mild.

We hope you enjoyed this winter weather folklore.
According to these folklore beliefs, what will this season be like in your area?


Images from web – Google Research

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