New Year’s Day Weather Folklore

January 29, 2019
Winter Tree at Sunset
Pixabay

A new year is always ripe with possibilities. Though we have our forecasts, we also enjoy the tradition of looking to winter weather folklore.

New Year’s Weather Folklore

In particular, weather folklore often looks to the wind.

Try this. Step outside as the sun sets on New Year’s Eve. Feel the wind and recite:

If New Year’s Eve the wind blows south

It betokens 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, then flee it, man and brute.

Then go out and party! 


Photo Credit: Weather.gov

Others believed the time to check out the wind was at sunrise on New Year’s Day, but if you had any fun the night before, it will be hard to wake up at dawn.

If you forgot to check the wind, don’t worry.

Other lore says that the first 12 days of the year are just as useful. The weather on the first, good or bad, will reflect how January will feel. The second day forecasts February and so on.

My favorite is the onion story. Get twelve onions. Between 11:00pm and midnight on New Year’s Eve cut off the tops and scoop out a depression in the centers. Get out your compass and line the onions in an east-west orientation. Place an equal amount of salt in each depression. Then explain to your fellow partiers why you smell like an onion! 


If all else fails, check the onions!

Don’t look at the vegetables until the next morning. The salt has dissolved to varying degrees in each onion. The more water in each onion the wetter the corresponding month will be in the coming year. After this, carefully add potatoes and other root veggies, rub with olive oil and spices and bake.

Whether the onions are right or wrong, you’ll have a nice New Year’s Day feast.

Of course, you can also check this year’s Almanac forecast as a “human” point of reference. See The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac to start the year off right!

About This Blog

The column, “Weather Whispers,” is authored by James Garriss and Evelyn Browning Garriss, historical climatologists and weather addicts!  Whether you enjoy the science of weather or the fascinating folklore or just fun weather phenomena, it’s probably covered by these weather watchers!

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