Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ruling Days

There's a sweet old hillbilly custom that my mom and aunt still follow: the "ruling days." The old people in the mountains and knobs would make note of weather conditions on the twelve days beginning on Christmas Day, as they believed these would correspond to weather conditions in the coming twelve months. Christmas Day "rules" January, yesterday "rules" February, and so forth. The ruling days end on January 6th, to which the old people often still refer as Old Christmas--in the Roman Catholic tradition, the Feast of the Epiphany, the date on which the Magi are said to have visited the Christ Child and given him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Here in the knobs, Christmas Day's weather was cold and cloudy, windy with rain late in the day. January, therefore, will be cold and rainy, especially toward the end of the month, according to the old people. Yesterday, February's ruler, was cold but sunny, while today, March's ruler, is sunny, mild (48 degrees) and breezy.

Right up until January 6th, Mom and Aunt Barbara will keep track of the weather.

And then, we'll see.


  1. Hmm, I'll have to pay some attention to the weather and see how it pans out. Christmas Day was overcast but not too cold while yesterday was downright balmy almost with a lot of rain in the evening. Matter of fact, I got up to a temperature of 53 degrees at 6:00 this morning which melted most of the two feet of snow we got last Sunday! No blizzards so far so maybe this wouldn't be a bad weather pattern!

  2. Hi Linda--down home looks like we're gonna have a cool but sunny April--so far though, a cold, rainy January, a partly cloudy February and a chilly but breezy March--;)

    Incidentally, the warmth on Dec. 26? We usually have a spell toward the end of February where the temps get to the seventies, and some years, as high as eighty--