Tag Archives: weather

Fox Day

‘Both of my parents went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida and every year they have a fox day. It is an annual tradition and festival that was started decades ago by the president of the University. So each year on a day in spring that was “too pretty to have class”, the president would put a fox statue on the lawn in front of campus and all the students on campus would get free buses to the beach. Since my parents went there, every year on fox day, when I was younger I would skip school and we would always go and take a picture in front of the fox and have a fox day celebration of going out to enjoy the weather.” – PH

PH’s parents would celebrate fox day every year in college, and continue to do so even when PH was a baby. He has countless baby photos of him with the fox statue, showing him grow up on the nicest spring days of the year. The biggest role this has had in PH’s life is that it has allowed him to hold a huge connection with his mom, and is something he will never forget. This ritual also feels like a superstition to him… Every spring day if the weather is beautiful out it could be fox day. It encourages him to take in the new weather and get excited for what’s to come.

Statue on Rollins’ Campus put out to symbolize Fox Day each year

Fox Day is a celebration and ritual that has been passed down through generations, obviously leaving a mark on many who celebrate, as PH always wonders on beautiful days if Rollins College is having their Fox Day. The annual ritual enforces a sense of tradition and significance for a community that is shared and celebrated throughout Winter Park, Florida, just as folklore intends. Additionally, the fox statue works as a symbolic figure, as it represents the tradition and allows the community to recognize what day it is! Also, in much a folklore, a strong motif is that of a fox, holding symbolic significance, and in this scenario, this fox signifies the beginning of beautiful weather and prompting the community to go enjoy their day outside. Fox Day embodies many folkloristic behaviors and contributes to a sense of community and tradition.

Spoon Under Pillow for Snow

CONTEXT: TL is a fourth year student at USC. He is originally from Connecticut and first heard of this ritual from his classmates in elementary school. He does not believe that it works, and no longer participates in the ritual, but did for a short time as a child.


TL: So back in elementary school the night before a projected snow day, I would always put a spoon under my pillow as a superstition for snow. I also did the wear pajamas inside out too, and I learned this from my classmates who told me about doing that. This was like first or second grade.

Me: Do you still do this now?

TL: No

Me: why not?

TL: Because superstition does not impact whether or not it is a snow day. The weather impacts whether or not it is a snow day. And the judgment of the school board is what determines if it’s a snow day or not. I stopped doing this at probably 8 or 9. It was just any spoon I had in the kitchen.

ANALYSIS: This is a ritual that I have heard of before. It is a piece of children’s folklore ritual with the intent of creating enough snow that it is not possible to make it in to school. This is from a time before virtual school days, and in a region of the U.S. that gets a fair amount of snow per year. Snow days probably appear illogical and a little bit random to young kids who do not follow the weather, but as they grow older and begin to follow weather predictions and understand that how snow days are determined, the mystery disappears and so does the magic quality of the ritual. It is a sign of growing older categorized by the end of the mystery and the end of school.

Belief: Flush Ice for Snow Day


“Whenever it would snow back when I was in school, everyone in the class would be like ‘Okay, guys. We have to flush ice cubes down the toilet so that we get a snow day.” They laughed. “It had to be snowing already. And if the next day came and we didn’t get a snow day, everyone would go around asking each other ‘Did you do it?’ And if someone didn’t, they’d be like ‘You!’,” they spoke the final word in an accusatory tone. “‘It’s your fault!'”


“It was just like, to me, a fun sort of get-together thing for us all to do. I also liked it because it was especially like ‘Yea! I have so much power. I’m gonna summon a snow day.’ I did it every time it snowed.”

“I heard it both from other kids in my school and also my parents. I think specifically from my mom. My dad didn’t know what it was. My dad didn’t grow up in Colorado, but my mom did.”

“I sort of always knew it was fraudulent. It wasn’t going to work. But to me, and to all the other kids at school, it was kind of just like a nice ‘taking the opportunity to control something and you can’t normally control.'”


Relegated to locations that snow and have school days cancelled in the presence of large amounts of it, young children are likely to wish that they can have a valid way to skip school using this extreme weather. With the connection between ice cubes and snow, there’s something akin to rebirth in the way that the ice cubes are flushed for the purpose of being “recycled” into snow. Still, this is overall a fun community event that brings children together in their efforts, which may be reason for parents and teachers encouraging the behavior.

Belief: Whistle for Wind


“My mom did this thing where…” They took a pause. “So, she’s not very good at whistling– along with a lot of other people in my family for some reason. But she can still somewhat whistle, and there’s this notion that whistling calls wind. So you would whistle in order to call wind. It’s like a folk thing because apparently this isn’t something that only my mom does. It’s something that my aunts and grandma and a lot of people in my family do. If you want wind, you whistle.”


“I sure do whistle a lot.” They laughed. “Just cause I like whistling… and it sure doesn’t work– as in, it sure isn’t constantly windy.” They pouted, jokingly, “It doesn’t always work. It’s not always windy and I whistle always.”

“It was just my mom. I was whistling one day and she was like ‘You know it calls wind.’ And then she tried to whistle. It wasn’t a very great whistle and it didn’t call wind.” They laughed. “I think I was very young. I was nine or ten when we had this conversation and it was a couple years after that when we went to the Philippines and I inquired other family members about it.”

“It’s interesting to think about why– because in the Philippines wind comes in handy. ‘Cause, you know, it’s hot, and wind feels really nice especially, I assume if you’re working and doing manual labor related to farming and animals and crops. I can see where it comes from.”


There’s a certain magical quality to air and wind, like blowing candles to make a wish. Similarly, music, singing, and by proxy, whistling is a traditional performance that is believed to have a variety of effects. In the case of whistling, it’s a musical act that bares a resemblance to blowing air. The cooling effect of both blowing air and wind is linked together as a way to make one manageable by human means. There’s an inherent desire to control the workings of the world which is what paves the way for rituals that attempt to do so. In this case, specific to locations that are hot, the presence of wind is a comfort that people wish for.

Turkish Mountain Ghost Story

Background Information: 

The informant is an older person who grew up in Central Turkey in the 40s and 50s. They have now been living in the US for the last 30 years. They are describing things from their childhood. 

Main Content: 

ME: So could you tell me about the time you saw a ghost on the mountain, that you told me about a few years ago? 

NA: So one day me, my brother, and my father went to visit a farm that my father owned in a different village. We had to walk about 2-3 hours through very mountainous terrain to get there. We stayed there for a few hours and be the time we were leaving it started to get really dark. However, the people who worked on the farm insisted that we didn’t go, simply begging not to leave, they were telling us that the weather was going to be really bad, but my father said that we had to leave. The worker insisted that he let his son take us back on two horses, and my father said fine. We stated climbing on the mountains and it started raining, my father sends the son back with the horses because he was scared that something would happen to him or the horses. Anyways, me and my brother and my father kept going on foot. If there wasn’t any lightning, we couldn’t see in front of our step, and it was lightning constantly. We say two, well I remember seeing one person on a horse, but my father says that there was two. I’m not sure if it was just imagine or real, but they were behind these rocks. My father started yelling at them, and he used two speak all of the Kurdish languages. He used to speak two of them real good and the other one not so good. There was a lot of Kurds in this area, he was in touch with them all day every day, he lived with them for many, many years. The horsemen were not that far away, and he spoke with them in all three languages, and he still didn’t get no answer. Maybe there was nobody, but we all saw them multiple times in the lightning, and all of the sudden they disappeared. There was also a lot of hail, hail as big as eggs, pounding on our heads. 

ME: Wow that sounds incredibly scary, do you think that it was ghosts that you saw? 

NA: I don’t know exactly if they were ghosts, but they were not people. They would have responded to my father otherwise. The road was maybe as wide as a coach, its not even a real road, maybe like a trail, trail is even wider than that, so it was almost impossible for there to be anybody. Maybe it was just a hallucination, but we definitely saw something. Afterwards, my father sacrificed two lambs because we got out of that trouble. 


This conversation happened over a Facetime call. 


This story sounds like a classic example of a horror story. The dark, rain, thunder, and even hail. On top of that, they didn’t even have cars, the whole experience was either on horseback or by foot. It is so reminiscent of a generic scary story. Besides that, it is incredible that the informant still has such a vivid memory of what seems to be a relatively insignificant incident from almost 60 years ago. This leads me to believe that whatever the informant had seen that night was very convincing. Maybe it is possible that they saw the spirits of dead or lost travelers through the mountains, but it’s impossible to know. I think it is also interesting that their father sacrificed a lamb afterwards to thank Allah for getting them out of that situation. I’m not sure if he was more concerned with the weather or the ghosts, but either way it goes to prove that they found this to be a particularly dire situation.