Christmas Day Weather Folklore


The folklore of Christmas Day weather

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Christmas attracts a lot of weather folklore!  Many proverbs have a theme: whatever the weather on Christmas Day, the opposite will happen later. Enjoy the folklore of Christmas Day weather.

Much old folklore is tied to the calendar—special holidays or saints days. But there’s no day that seems to attract more weather lore than Christmas Day itself.

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

If ice will bear a man before Christmas, it will not bear a mouse afterward.

Christmas Day Folklore

Interestingly, much folklore around Christmas weather suggests that weather on Christmas Day will be the opposite of what happens later in Easter.

Perhaps this is a simple winter-spring comparison. Winter is dormant and spring begins growth anew. It could also be related to Christianity, symbolizing death and rebirth, representing opposite poles of the Christian story.

If at Christmas ice hangs on the willow,
clover may be cut at Easter

Christmas in snow, Easter in mud! OR
Green Christmas, white Easter.

And similarly:

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


Christmas Day Folklore and the Harvest

Similar to the Christmas-Easter theme, much Christmas Day weather lore is about predicting what comes later. And, often this is about agriculture and the harvest.

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

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

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 December be changeable and mild,
The whole winter will remain a child

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

The nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the harder the winter.

Though Christmas Day is an easy calendar date to hang your hat on, there are also many general proverbs and prognostications focused on frost and snow.

We see the opposites theme again. 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.

If in winter there is thunder, snow will fall in a week or under

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

If snow begins at mid of day, expect a foot of it to lay.

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.

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 12th of the month, you can expect 12 more storms before the winter’s done.

We hope you enjoyed this winter weather folklore. For a winter forecast geared to the coming year, check out the Almanac Winter Forecast 2022!

About The Author

Heidi Stonehill

Heidi Stonehill is the executive editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, where she focuses much of her time on managing content development for the Almanac’s line of calendars. Read More from Heidi Stonehill

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