weather myths


Castellano/Español de España
En cuanto a las bodas, aquí se dice que "novia mojada, novia afortunada".

My grandma always said that, if a man married in spring, he wanted a wife, but if he married in winter, he wanted a servant.

Days between Christmas and Epiphany show what the weather will be like in the following months. (So the first day foretells January, the second foretells February etc.)

I've just read that in other parts of Spain the myth goes like that, and I'm astonished, because in Extremadura, it's just the opposite! August the first is "el juicio del año" (the year's judgment) and the twelve following days are "las canículas": their weather tells you what time next year's months will have (August the second for January, August the third for February, and so on).

And I remember fondly a story my grandpa told me when I was little:
"On the first day of the year, the clouds and Saint Peter met in Sierra Morena to decide which cloud would give rain to which part of Spain, and so Saint Peter started to tell the clouds:
"You will go to Galicia, and you, to Castilla La Vieja, and you, to Canarias..."
And soon, all the clouds parted, after arranging to meet when the year was almost over at the same place, to see how everyone had been doing.
When they met again, Saint Peter asked the clouds where each one had been, and if everything had gone well. After the clouds finished telling him, he asked:
"But... did no one of you go to Extremadura?"
After a bit of thought and asking, it was clear that no clouds had been to Extremadura that year, and so Saint Peter decided:
"Okay, now, off to Extremadura you all go!" ("Pues ahora, ¡todas a Extremadura!")

And that's why that, when in the rest of Spain it's raining, it doesn't fall a single drop in Extremadura, but when in the rest of Spain is sunny and nice, here we have huge and long, long storms."

I always loved that tale :)

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  • Hacha

    Castellano/Español de España
    I guess it's because in spring it's all more beautiful and romantic, and he would be thinking about her and how he loves her, while marrying in winter gives the impression that he just wants to get all the procedures done as quickly and cheaply possibly, so he can go and have a wife who cooks and cleans for him.



    European Portuguese

    En cuanto a las bodas, aquí se dice que "novia mojada, novia afortunada". Y lo de mojada se refiere a la lluvia. O sea, que si llueve en tu boda te trae suerte.

    À semelhança do que disseram chics e outros, em Portugal também usamos uma variante dessa expressão: "Boda molhada, boda abençoada".

    E já que falamos em casamentos (bodas) e ventos, também é corrente dizer, quando por algum motivo queremos criticar a Espanha ou os espanhóis, dizemos em forma de gozo "De Espanha, nem bom vento nem bom casamento" :p

    Just like chiks and others said, in Portugal we also use a similar form: "wet wedding, blessed wedding".

    When, for some reason we want to criticise Spain or spanish people, we say, to joke around "From Spain, neither good wind nor good wedding"



    Senior Member
    I believed this when I was a kid: When it rained, I was told (and really believed) that we shouldn't touch our hair or anything made of iron because lightning could hit us.

    Oh, and my favorite one:

    !No te mires en el espejo porque te va a caer un rayo!
    (Don't look at the mirror because lightning is gonna hit you!)

    So, yeah, thunderstorms were a little bit scary.

    Not anymore.
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    Senior Member
    Spanish/Galician - Spain
    En Galicia hay una frase que dice "gaivotas na terra, mariñeiros á merda" (seagulls to land, sailors to "shit"). Significa que si las gaviotas dejan de volar sobre el mar para venir a tierra, en breve comenzará a llover. Y es verdad, las gaviotas parecen anticipar el mal tiempo antes que las personas. Relacionado con ese, está "cielo empedrado, suelo mojado". Cuando el cielo se pone con nubes que parecen un enlosado de piedra, no tardará en llover.

    Otros refranes relacionados con la meteorología son "marzo ventoso y abril lluvioso hacen a mayo florido y hermoso" (windy March and rainy April, makes
    May beautiful and full of flowers), y también "Si marzo mayea, mayo marcea" (when the weather in March is as it should be in May, then in May it will be the other way round).

    Estos dos últimos no sé si se pueden considerar o no mitos, pero los dos primeros están más que comprobados.


    Senior Member
    Am English
    In Chile, earthquake weather is believed to be rather warm and sunny--at least in Santiago. This as opposed to the US/California where earthquake weather is calm and gray.
    By the way, suicide rates supposedly do go up when strong winds blow. Supposedly, during the Föhn winds in Southern Germany suicides go up during these winds. It actually seems a bit logical to me that really strong wind could drive some people mad--all the howling, etc...


    Senior Member
    British English
    I recently heard that in Spain, there is a myth that the wind makes you go mad... is this true?

    Recientemente, he oido que en Espana, hay un mito que el viento vuelve loco... es verdad?
    My ex-wife who was a school teacher told me that it was common knowledge amongst teachers that children behave much worse on windy days.


    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain / Basque
    En México tenemos el mito de que si llueve en el día de tu boda, va a ser un matrimonio lleno de lagrimas, o sea sufrimiento.

    Es curioso, en España hay un refrán que dice justo lo contrario: novia mojada, novia afortunada. Como que si te llueve el día de tu boda, no tendrás nada peor que eso en el matrimonio.


    Senior Member
    Català & español (Spain)
    En Catalunya se da en el noreste y en el sudeste quizás con menor intensidad, por la configuración de las montañas, y se le llama Tramuntana.

    "Ben tocat per la tramuntana" as the song goes, which means something like "driven crazy by the north wind", and rumor has it that we owe Dalí's genius to this tiresome wind.


    Senior Member
    castellano rioplatense
    En Italia algunos (por ejemplo mi abuela) dicen que cuando llueve pero el sol sigue siendo visible las brujas se están peinando (Piove e c’è il sole: si pettinano le streghe).
    No sé por qué :confused::)

    Otro comentario habitual en Argentina en estos casos: "lluvia con sol, se casa una vieja". Andá a saber.

    Hablando de mitos, en Ushuaia existe el mito de que si hace calor, va a haber un terremoto. Parece que en diciembre del 49 hubo varios días cálidos; el 17 de ese mes se registró un terremoto bastante importante.... y nació el mito. Claro que se trata de una zona altamente sísmica, pero hasta donde se sabe, el clima poco tiene que ver con los movimientos telúricos.


    Senior Member
    Otro comentario habitual en Argentina en estos casos: "lluvia con sol, se casa una vieja". Andá a saber.Hablando de mitos, en Ushuaia existe el mito de que si hace calor, va a haber un terremoto. Parece que en diciembre del 49 hubo varios días cálidos; el 17 de ese mes se registró un terremoto bastante importante.... y nació el mito. Claro que se trata de una zona altamente sísmica, pero hasta donde se sabe, el clima poco tiene que ver con los movimientos telúricos.
    Tendra algo que ver...siempre he escuchado por aca desde niña, (Rep. Dominicana), a la gente comentar, "que esta haciendo mucho calor, que va a temblar la Tierra"....


    Senior Member
    Well, most of us (if not all) know that myth as though the warm and sunny weather were good, and the fresh, cloudy and rainy weather were bad. In fact, that myth is very, very far from telling truth!


    Senior Member
    What do you mean by this? Is my opinion of the weather always a prejudice?
    Yes, it is. As well as mine.
    There is no good or bad in the nature itself. A human is a creator of the good and the bad in his mind. And as for weathers... Opinions differ. For example, I love the rainy weather; and I know many don't.
    Well, I'm not willing to turn the thread into the war of likes and dislikes, of course ;)


    Senior Member
    Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailor's delight. [Clouds in the west will probably come toward you; clouds in the east have already past.]
    In Russia too: "Солнце красно поутру -- моряку сулит тоску; солнце красно ввечеру -- моряку бояться нечего" (but I don't know what it really means)
    Also: "Если солнце село в тучу -- жди, моряк, большую бучу" (if the sun set in clouds, sailor, await a gale)
    This is because you live in Saint-Petersburg.;) Dostoyevskiy in his "A raw youth" wrote that nasty wind of Saint-Petersburg can make sick even an elephant.:D
    There are many people in St Petersburg who don't like rains! (and there are some who do).
    As for Dostoyevskiy, sometimes meseems he didn't like anything in St. Petersburg -- including its very hot and dry summers above 30ºC (which I hate too). So it depends...
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    Senior Member
    Ecuadorian Spanish - Canadian English
    In Ecuador, when it rains and there is sun at the same time, the saying is "Se casa el diablo con la bruja" (the devil is marrying the witch), or, another variation is “se casa el diablo con la diabla (the devil is marrying the she-devil). It’s interesting how this meteorological event means different things all over the world, but many of these myths seem to have to do with witches or the devil.

    I just found this interesting link about this weather myth, and it also has to do with the devil!


    Senior Member
    It's an extremely interesting link, because the same idiom "the devil is beating his wife" exists in Hungarian, but I cannot find on the map where that idiom is used in the USA.


    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain/Catalan (Val)
    It exists one expression in some areas of Spains that says: "le ha dado un siroco". Sometimes is used in situations when somebody has a behaviour as they have suddenly became crazy or when have a weird or completely innapropiate reaction. That comes of the wind known as "siroco/jaloque" that in Spain comes directly from Sahara as a extremly dry and hot air and can cause some conduct disorders, as well as other well known wind in the east coast of Spain known as "poniente". In fact as far as I know, in Switzerland "föehn effect" that are characterised by these kind of dry and strong winds is (or was) an attenuating in some crimes.


    Senior Member
    In old Turkic culture, cutting down trees was seen as a disrespectful thing. For example, the shamans made their drums from the trees that were struck with lightning. I remember one telling me a story about a shaman that actually learned how to control weather in order to find a tree that was struck with lightning. (thus the drum was the goal but a mediator towards becoming a shaman)

    There is also the myth, semi-myth about the jade stone (yada). There were certain yada stones that were used to control weather according to this myth.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    When I was young cold weather did not bother me. In 40 degree Fahrenheit cold I would go out without a jacket. My mother always said, "It's cold outside. You are going to get sick." I responded by saying, "You get sick from germs, not from cold weather."

    I still believe that is true even though I seem to need a coat more often nowadays.


    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    As they said before, in the Gibraltar Strait blows a very hot and strong wind called 'levante'. It is very dry so it gives headaches. The mith says that in the town of Tarifa (a paradise for surfers, because of that wind) people are crazy. There is even a word 'tarifar' or 'salir tarifando' that means to get crazy.

    As for other sayings, there is one very nice but not very polite: 'cuando el grajo vuela bajo, hace un frío del carajo', which means 'when the rook flies low, it is fucking cold'.


    Senior Member
    Jamaican English
    My Spanish aunt used to tell me that my (bad) singing would make it rain. Given that I was living in Galicia at the time, where it seemed to rain every day, I started to believe her!
    Wow! We have that same myth in my country!
    If it rains while the sun's shining, we say Satan and his wife are fighting.


    Senior Member
    Why the 3 April
    I think it has to do to the fact that usually, in Italy, April is considered a rainy month (aprile ogni goccia un barile, l'acqua d'aprile fa rimbellire and so on).

    Are you familiar with the British St Swithun's Day? 15 July.
    I must confess I didn't know, but in Italy it would be impossible since in most part of the country, July is, by far, the driest month.


    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Ah .. the English have their 'April Showers;, too!

    Whereas in Wales, the rain is warmer in summer than in winter ... ;)


    Senior Member
    Whereas in Wales, the rain is warmer in summer than in winter
    Here too (well, when it does rain...) but usually also dirty because it usually comes with sirocco and brings sand form the Sahara desert (it turns your car windows yellow). If it happens in winter (rarer) you'll even get yellow snow (especially on the mountains). :cool:


    Senior Member
    Another myth: "Don't get inside pool while it's raining because lightning will get you!"
    It happened to me and the lifegurad forced us to go out the pools. The thunderstorm caused a shock in the electrical system and from the shower room you could see electric sparks. Never again.
    Another myth: "in past times there was a lot of snow in the Tuscan plains." I checked a reliable publication by the Italian government: there was written that in the period 1921-1960 the average snowfall was 5 cm (2 in) or less per year.


    Senior Member
    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalonia, the Empordà region (North-East) is certainly known by the Tramuntana wind (Tramontane in English), called like this as it comes from beyond the mountains. It may affect daily life, specially in the fields or at sea, and the association with being tocat de l'ala (literally 'hurt in one wing' but meaning 'fool') of those living in such a weather is quite common. Salvador Dalí was from the region.

    If you have vent al cap (wind in the head), this means you have irrational ideas.

    My very head feels heavy whenever there's a long windy day around. If it lasted for weeks, it might drive me crazy for sure. :p