Groundhog Day and other winter superstitions
Punxsutawney Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, saw his shadow Tuesday morning. An old Pennsylvania Dutch superstition has it that this means the animal retreats to its den and there will be six more weeks of winter. With a nor’easter still happening as Phil did his thing it’s easy to believe. Had he not seen his shadow of course the superstition calls for an early spring.
Speaking of the nor’easter and all the school cancellations, I was also thinking about the superstitions revolving around kids trying to magically force a snow day. Wearing pajamas inside out, flushing ice cubes down the toilet and putting a spoon under your pillow are all said to summon a school closure.
Are there other winter superstitions? I went in search, and it turns out yes.
People in the Ozarks used to believe you can tear open a dead goose and look at its breastbone to see what kind of winter it will be. A thin plate means a mild winter whereas a thick one means heavy snows to come.
Snow falling off a pine tree onto your head brings good luck.
Throwing a shovelful of the first snow of the season will bring good health.
From a 1903 collection of superstitions throughout Europe and the United States blood found in snow is good luck. Absolutely no reason given. You’re just supposed to accept it’s good luck I guess.
Should trees or flowers bloom in winter it portends death. According to some creepy encyclopedia in Wales, “should the trees in an entire district break into unseasonable bloom there will be a winter with much sickness and death.”
2020 must have read that and said, “Hold my beer.”
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.