Why We Gather During the Worst Travel Weather

Worse Travel Weather During Holidays


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Ever noticed that our important family holidays are during the absolute worst travel weather?  Well, it partly centers on our agricultural history.

Both European and American culture is created, in part, from agricultural roots. You do not travel and celebrate in spring; you need to plant your crops. You don’t do that in summer; the crops need to be tended. Fall is harvest time. That only leaves winter.

The Cows Are Slaughtered, The Corn Looks Good, Lets Drink Some Beer

In the 17th and 18th centuries, celebrations revolved around the winter solstice when the crops had been harvested, the cows had been slaughtered, and the wine and beer had fermented. After a long tough year, it was time to celebrate.

Pilgrims celebrated their first thanksgiving thanks in large part to their first successful corn harvest. Today, many family members venture from near and far to gather together —during one of the stormiest times of year!


Then, there is the Christmas holiday when longer family vacations are planned. How many times have you or relatives had airplane travel delay plans? It’s almost an annual tradition, too!


Many holidays end with a New Year celebration, as we toast to new beginnings, just as Julius Caesar celebrated Janus, the Roman god of beginnings. The night is fun, but careful you don’t get stranded by a cab in wintry weather on New Year’s Eve!

All kidding aside, it’s not only our agricultural past to consider, but also it’s just natural for us to come together in the darkest months to feast together and brighten the nights with festivals of lights. To do is a blessing. It’s just that darn travel weather!

How was your holiday travel this year—or, did you decide to stay put? Perhaps we should create some new travel traditions!




About This Blog

Evelyn Browning Garriss doesn't just blog about the weather forecast; she provides insight on WHY extreme weather is happening--and a heads up on weather to watch out for. A historical climatologist, Evelyn blogs about weather history, interesting facts about the weather, and upcoming climate events that affect your life--from farming to your grocery bill. Every week, we look forward to another great weather column from Evelyn. We encourage our weather watchers to post their comments and questions--and tell us what they think!

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Travel Weather

I just returned from a family cruise in the eastern Caribbean. The weather was not good. Cool and very windy. Also some rain. It was too windy to dock in Grand Turk and the cruise line decided it was too cold for us to go to Half Moon Caye. It was so disappointing for everyone on board. This was our 13th cruise and we have noticed that the weather seems to be getting worse for cruising in January and February. Because of that we are going to give up cruising and do more exploring on land.... The last two cruises we paid a lot to go to 4 ports but were blown out. We were only refunded the port fees which amount to very little compared to the total cost. We tried to go to Grand Turk two times to no avail. Giving up on that.

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