MARY WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN

According to the tradition surrounding the weather lore on our mountain, if it rains on the days Mary goes over the mountain in June, there will be rain throughout the summer.

If Mary’s skirts weren’t wet, there would be no rain during the summer, but it would start up again on August 15 (traditionally known as the day of the Irish picnic or the Ascension of Mary).

For another weather-marker, if Mary comes back over the mountain and needs her umbrella on August 15, this means a wet fall.

Apparently this lore was brought to this country by German immigrants. Where the Germans or Pennsylvania Dutch settled in Pennsylvania, this bit of folklore became a part of that area’s history (as in Dushore, PA.).

This weather marker or feast day can be traced back to 13th century Europe where it was celebrated on different days, but it wasn’t yet connected with weather. People looked for Christ and Mary to return and put an end to the Great Schism that was dividing the church.

The idea of Mary walking over the mountain came from the Bible. Mary, pregnant with Jesus, traveled “over the mountain” to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, on June 27th. She returned on August 15th.

I’m still curious as to how this eventually became connected with weather. But I know on June 27th this year her skirts were wet so were going to have a dry summer!

Malaina (July ‘17) comments, “The lore makes for interesting thinking, do’n’it?

EDITOR’S NOTE: On “brik-see-us” web site an article by Tim Brixius explains, “…( a) children’s book written by Conrad Richter, … called Over the Blue Mountain, … is based on a Pennsylvania German weather superstition similar to that of Groundhog’s Day. If it is raining on July 2, when Mary goes over the mountain, then we will have six weeks of rain. No rain, then we have a dry spell. Its origin is from a Catholic feast day known as the Visitation of Mary, when the Blessed Mother, pregnant with Jesus, traveled (over a mountain, perhaps) to visit her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.  I recommend the book, especially for anybody who’s lived in Pine Grove, as you will recognize the setting. And it’s short.”

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