Saturday, April 4, 2009

Italian Groundhog Day

"Quattro Aprilante, giorni quaranta" was a proverb I learned from my Nonno T. My grandparents knew many, many proverbs and whenever I asked they would recite them, all strung together, usually challenging each other as to their accuracy (that's a polite way of phrasing their typically loud Calabrese interactions). 

"Quattro Aprilante, giorni quaranta" is literally April 4, 40 days. It means that whatever the weather is like on April 4th, is what it will be like for the following 40 days. I think of it as Italian Groundhog Day. I know nothing of its derivation but I suspect it's Italian and not regional to Calabria or our southern villages. For Nonno, it didn't have any meaning in the new world, Canada. It may have been more important when they lived in the old country and had to tend animals and plant crops. 

In my part of the world, today is sunny and the first day the sun has shared its warmth along with its brilliance. I'm taking this as a good sign that spring is here to stay.

If you know anything about this proverb, I'd love to hear your wisdom and your stories.

1 comment:

michelle | bleeding espresso said...

I haven't heard that one, but I'll have to ask around...and now I'm struggling to remember what the weather was like on Saturday!