I was listening to the weather this morning and they were talking of the first snow. Did you know that whatever day the snow first falls will predict the number of snows you will have that season? So if it snow on the 13th of the month you will have 13 snows. At least that's according to an "old wives' tale".
Then there is also the one about how cutting a persimmon seed will predict the severity of winter.. When cut into two pieces, the persimmon seed will display on of three symbols. A knife shape will indicate a cold icy winter (where wind will cut through you like a knife). A fork shape indicates a mild winter. A spoon shape stands for a shovel to dig out the snow.
An "old wives' tale" is a type of urban legend, similar to a proverb, which is generally passed down by old wives to a younger generation. Such 'tales' usually consist of superstition, folklore or unverified claims with exaggerated and/or untrue details. Today old wives' tales are still common among children in school playgrounds. Wikipedia says that these tales are not true and are generally used to mold behavior of children, but it's funny to me that so many of these seem to be true. reference
Now what else did those old wives predict? Well I looked it up and here are some of my favorites, can you add any to the list?
An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.
An acorn at the window will keep lightning out
Think of five or six names of boys or girls you might marry, As you twist the stem of an apple, recite the names until the stem comes off. You will marry the person whose name you were saying when the stem fell off.
If you cut an apple in half and count how many seeds are inside, you will also know how many children you will have.
It's bad luck to put a hat on a bed
If you make a bedspread, or a quilt, be sure to finish it or marriage will never come to you
Placing a bed facing north and south brings misfortune.
You must get out of bed on the same side that you get in or you will have bad luck.
When making the bed, don't interrupt your work, or you will spend a restless night in it.
When a bell rings, a new angel has received his wings.
Monday's child is fair of face;
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving;
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
is fair and wise, good and gay
To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.
Cows lifting their tails is a sure sign that rain is coming.
If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
A girl standing under a mistletoe cannot refuse to be kissed by anyone who claims the privilege.
If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers
You sleep best with your head to the north and your feet to the south.
Two people pull apart the dried breastbone of a chicken or turkey until it cracks and breaks, each one making a wish while doing so. The person who gets the long half of the wishbone will have his or her wish come true.