We have had a record snowfall in the Ottawa Valley this year. Heavy snowfalls and strong winds make for dangerous driving conditions so, wisely, there have been several snow days this winter. Apparently, our children have some rituals to try and bring about a snowday. One of the most popular is to wear your pajamas backwards – some children swear by this one. Others sleep with a white crayon ,which they had previously put in the freezer, or a spoon under their pillow to bring about the highly valued snow day. Some reverse their position in their beds, putting their heads at the foot of the bed if the word snow has been mentioned.
Snow signs, omens and superstitions have always been with us. The snowdrop, which blooms in the late winter, is a symbol of purity and hope. It is also an omen of death if taken into a house where there is a sick person. It is believed that there will be a death before the following spring comes although some variations indicate that this is true if only one snowdrop is taken inside, to take a bunch of the blooms indoors is alright. This superstition is probably more to due with the fact that there are more deaths in the winter months and that the snowdrop in bud looks like a corpse in a white shroud. The two ideas became entwined during earlier days when people were more superstitious.
Dreaming of snow is usually a very good omen, unless you ate the snow. Eating the snow can predict a season of sadness. Dreaming of very deep snow or a blizzard means you will have hardwork ahead of you but an unexpected big success coming. To see wet snow on a tree in a dream is a sign of profitable investments and to dream of snow in the Fall is a sign of unusual happiness to come. Dreaming of snow during the Spring is a sign of an unexpected financial gain and in the summer a very good business season ahead. Dreaming of snow in the winter is an indicator of success after experiencing some minor problems.
To dream of snow on a mountain is a sign of important and good news coming your way. Washing in snow in a dream is a sign that troubles you may be having are coming to an end. Shovelling snow is a sign of help from friends with influence and dreaming of snowshoeing is a prediction of a surprsing reward for a past kindness. Dreaming of frost patterns on a window or on a building means that you can expect an unusual and interesting experience. If you dreamed of frostbite on yourself or on plants, it is a warning to be very cautious in the near future to avoid difficulties in your personal or business life.
Dreaming of icicles can mean that your most worrisome problem or anxiety will vanish. If the icicles were dripping it means that you should be very careful with your money for the next couple of months. Dreaming that you are sitting on ice is a warning that you could suffer losses through speculation. Slipping, sliding or falling on ice is a sign of upcoming problems. If you broke through ice in a dream it means that your worst fears are groundless. Floating ice in clear water is a sign that you will win out over jealous competition. Ice skating alone in a dream means that you will be recognized for a job well done. If you were skating with a partner it is a warning against any indiscreet behaviour. Ice laden trees and bushes are a sign of success after many delays. Dreaming of an iceberg is a sign of formidable obstacles so careful planning will be required to handle the situation.
Thunder in February is thought to indicate snow in May. Another weather prediction is to count how many days old the moon is at the time of the first snow, this will tell us the number of big snowfalls that will be coming. A fire crackling like the fall of granular snow is a sign of a snowstorm of that type. If snowflakes are small, the snow will continue but if the snow flakes are large it means the snow won't last long. If there are two circles around a full moon, it is sign that it will snow within the next 24 hours. If snow sticks to the sides of trees, there will be more snow within a couple of hours.
A white Christmas predicts a green Easter and there will be 8 more weeks of winter if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2. “Green Christmas, full cemetery.” means that no snow by Christmas means many deaths that winter. The itching of frostbitten feet is a predictor of snow and if the sun appears during a snowfall, there will be more snow the next day. A mosquito in the house in winter is a sign of dirty weather coming and a fire crackling back at you is a sign of the wind turning from the East to blow a storm back onto us. If you see an arch in the sky (it will be blue under the arch and dark above), there will be snow or precipitation in the next 24 hours.
A circle around the moon, animals with thick, heavy fur building their nests early and deep, geese flying high in the sky on their journey south, a heavy crop of wild grapes and flowers blooming twice in a season are signs of a cold, hard winter. It will be a mild winter if onions have thin skins, beavers build small lodges and corn silk is thin and scanty. Unusually warm weather in the first week of August is a sign of a white winter. A cold winter is a sign of a hot summer.
They also say there will be six weeks of cold weather if sparrows mate in March. We are all familiar with the saying “If March comes in like a lamb it goes out like a lion. If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb.” Be it a lamb or a lion, I don't think Old Man Winter is through with us yet here in the Valley.
“Full Moons & Black Cats: Everyday Rules to Guide Your Life” by Terry Boyle,
Polar Bear Press, Toronto, Ontario 2002
“A Dictionary of Omens & Superstitions” by Phillipa Waring
Souvenir Press, London, England 1978
“The Dreamer's Dictionary” by Lady Stearne Robinson & Tom Corbett
Souvenir Press, London England, 1978