Myths surrounding the month of March in Southwest Virginia

Cheryl E Preston
The Month of March has a lot of sayingsPhoto bySergey ShmidtonUnsplash

Southwest Virginia is filled with folklore

There is a lot of folklore in Southwest Virginia and if you grew up in this area during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s you may have heard some old sayings that were passed down through the generations. There are several related to the month of March and I am not certain of the origin of these sayings but I heard them in various locations in this locale.

My maternal grandmother Elizabeth Prease lived back and forth between Bedford, Roanoke City and Botetourt County and she would tell us certain things as if they were facts and some of her tales were related to the month of March. Her mother my great-grandmother Florence Ragsdalealsooftgen quoted certain folklore related to the third month. Both of them said that if March came in like a lion it went out like a lamb and if March came in like a lamb it went out like a lion.
The Month of March is unpredictablePhoto byAniket BhattacharyaonUnsplash

March weather folklore and borrowed days

This comes from the old Farmers Almanac and is based on a theory of balance which suggests that if the month of March starts out cold it will end warm and vice versa. When March began blustery and cold my grandma would assure us that the month would end warm and calm. If the third month arrived with warm sunny weather grandma said it would be cold and windy when it ended. Many times this was true but not always so this theory is not an exact science.

My grandma also had a saying that I cannot find anywhere on the Internet-"If you can January and February you can March right on". This meant that if you were able to survive the cold weather, snow, ice, and wind of the first two months you were assured of springtime coming on March 21. I also heard my great aunt Gladys White and others including an elementary school teacher say that March borrowed days from April because February was so short.

I often heard neighbors and family say that a wet (rainy) March would mean a dry month of May and that if it thundered in March before Spring it meant winter was broken and warm weather should follow. None of these saying about the thrid month are absolute but many of them happened often enough that they were passed down through the years.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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