Snow day wishes

Date: April 15, 2022 

Source and Relationship: Gavin, younger brother

Type: Tradition, Practice, Folklore

Folklore/Text: Snow Day Wishes: “During the winter in Portland it is really fun when it snows because there is no school and I can sled all day with my friends. When I really want a snow day to happen, my Kindergarten teacher taught me to sleep with a spoon under my pillow, my pajamas on backwards, and to perform a Snow Dance to the sky before going to sleep. It worked about half the time, which is good enough for me.”

Explanation/Context: Snow days were a huge deal in my childhood because they only happened every couple of years and there was a huge hill near my house that all of the neighborhood kids would slide down when there was no school. The silly little practices that we were all convinced were the perfect equation to conjuring up a snow day are actually products of folk tales and Native American rituals from years past – Native peoples have a profound relationship with nature, so special dances, songs, and ordered actions are certainly believed to be closely related with the outcome of weather and yielding crops. The Snow Dance is a real ritual that continues to be practiced today, especially in the Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe tribes in Utah who experience harsh winters each year.