Wise Words for March

Here are some traditional French sayings from the 1932 and 1933 copies of La Prosperité à la Campagne magazine.

Autant de brouillard en mars – autant de gel en avril

There’ll be as much frost in April as there is fog in March.

(A saying from the South-West)

Autant de brouillard en mars – autant d’orages en été

There’ll be as many thunderstorms in summer as fog in March.

(A saying from Haut-Rhin)

Une Hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps

One swallow doesn’t make spring. This is followed by an extra note that usually swallows don’t arrive before 20th March in Rousillon, the 1st April in Gascony and 15th-20th April in the rest of France. I shall be watching out this year.

Quand en mars il tonne – l’année est bonne.

When it thunders in March it will be a good year.

Quand il gèle le 25 mars – les prés diminuent du quart.

When it freezes on the 25 March – the meadows will be a quarter less productive.

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Quand mars entre en mouton, il sort en lion.

When March comes in like a lamb, it goes out like a lion.

Quand il pleut à St Aubin – il n’y aura ni lin ni foin.

When it rains on St Aubin’s Day [1st March] – there will be neither flax to make linen nor hay.

Well, it certainly rained yesterday, 1st March, so not looking good for the hay. We’ll just have to wait and see if they sayings prove to be true.

How did February’s rustic predictions turn out? (These were in my blog for the beginning of February.) We had sun at Candlemas (2 Feb) and by golly did it turn wintry just after that. We’d have been better off with a ‘chandeleur noire’ which would have meant better weather by now. There was running water in the streams on 5th February, and there wasn’t a frost on 27th February, so those augur well for the summer. But there was a tempête on 27/28 February as I expect you’re aware. There was a red alert, a rare event, over part of France and sadly it was accurate, with a great deal of damage and lives lost in that area. We were braced for strong winds, and they’ve taken some tiles off the barn and blown some fencing down, but fortunately weren’t as bad as we’d been expecting. February is proving to be the worst month weather-wise here in Creuse.

March came in like a lamb, with warm sunshine yesterday in the morning, although it didn’t last that long. So I hope the leonine weather that’s coming at the end of the month won’t be as bad as the end of February’s …

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