Marrying in Sunshowers


“When it’s sunny but there’s rain outside, that means the lion is getting married.”


PK is a 19-year old USC freshman who lived in Upstate New York. During a car ride to his local grocery store, he remembers the presence of rain and sunshine outside the window. Although he didn’t really understand what his mother meant, he embraced the saying and held it with him throughout his childhood. He predisposes that it means “something about finding happiness and joy alongside certain milestones in life.”


Especially when there are language barriers that detach one from their culture, certain sayings and proverbs appear to hold an even more abstract, metaphorical ambience that adds a more sacred, fantastical aura to the proverb. After searching for the influence of sun and rain in folklore, I’ve discovered that there seems to be a beautiful intermingling between joy and sadness, which reveals the ambivalence and complexities of life itself. Rather than attempting to rationalize the bizarre, folklore embraces it and makes it understandable. In fact, in various cultures, “sunshowers” are often linked to animals, particularly clever trickster animals, getting married or giving birth. This may be connected to the rain being a contradiction to the natural order. This attachment to nature–through rain, sunlight, and animals–is prevalent in many variants of folklore, and there is always a strive towards harmony among these dynamic elements. Perhaps as a way to explain seemingly magical phenomena, people seek their culture’s significant animals to create a more tangible reasoning. Especially to justify incongruities and inconsistencies in nature, folklore enables us to provide an explanation in order to restore a sense of ease and balance with our world.