As the Easter holiday and spring season are coming up, I found myself thinking about the old wives tales that seem to be very popular during this time of year. Most of these tales have come from farmers who are worried about what the rain is going to do during this year’s crop. Others, I was very curious to find out what the originators of these stories were doing and why. Regardless! I thought I would do a little research and get to the bottom of these tales. I did not find a lot of factual information about where these rumors came from or if they have any substantial truth to them, but I did find some entertaining old wives tales!! Here are some of my findings and opinions… Enjoy!


“If it rains on Easter Sunday, it will rain for seven Sundays”

From what I’ve heard this saying stands pretty true! ‘Rain’ doesn’t necessarily mean a downpour, a little sprinkle here or there qualifies also. Definitely something to watch for this upcoming holiday!

                             easter        “For good luck throughout the year, wear new clothes on Easter”

Clearly this was thought up by someone who really wanted a new Easter dress. Who likes wearing the same one as last year with a different sweater or the one your sister has already worn 3 times? No one, that’s who.

“Cut your hair on Good Friday to prevent headaches in the upcoming year”

I don’t get headaches too often but for those out there that do, it’s worth a shot! Hurry up and make an appointment!


“April showers bring May flowers”

Definitely one of the most popular sayings of spring time! I also found some pretty interesting tales about what those ‘spring flowers’ mean!

“First Flower of Spring: The day you find the first flower of the season can be used as an omen:

Monday means good fortune, spring flowers

Tuesday means greatest attempts will be successful,                                     

Wednesday means marriage,

Thursday means warning of small profits,

Friday means wealth,

Saturday means misfortune,

Sunday means excellent luck for weeks.”


“If the sun sets behind a bank of clouds on Thursday, it will rain before Sunday”

tree budsIf the goose looks to the left before it skydives out of the plane and is caught by a flying pig it may rain sometime this year.

“If there is thunder in February, it will frost in May”

I feel like this one is a possibility this year with all the crazy weather we have had and the “snow-pocalypse 2014”! And, if memory serves me correctly, we did have some thunder in February…..the farmers better be prepared! Plants cannot grow in cold weather conditions, so a frost in May would make for a very unsuccessful crop year.

“Plant corn when the oak leaves are as big as a squirrel’s ears”

Is it just me or does this sound like a way Native Americans knew when to plant?

“Your corn should be knee high by the Fourth of July”

For the most part this wives tale is true, depending on when the crops get planted of course!


“If your wife can’t get pregnant, spank her with a split shingle.”

“If a girl burns the cornbread, it means her sweetheart will be angry with her.”     Cinderella-Servant

“If a girl catches a butterfly and bites off its head, she’ll get a new dress of the same color.”

“If a girl leaves cobwebs on the kitchen door, her suitor won’t come back.”

“If a girl clips her fingernails on nine successive Sundays, her sweetheart will come for dinner.”

“If a girl gets her apron wet while washing, her husband will be a drunk.”

I think all the explanation that this section deserves is someone wanted their wife to carry on the family name, be well groomed, a good cook, and an expert house cleaner.


All of those old wives tales were starting to sound like a country song with all of the rain, lovers leavin’, and bad luck! Some people sware by these legends, others mock them, but the decision is up to you!! I had a blast looking up all of these old stories and would highly recommend it! Remember, don’t step on cracks, never open umbrellas inside, and don’t get out of bed on the wrong side!!

Happy Easter!!

courtney millerCourtney Miller
Illinois State University student


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