273: Moon

Ozark hillfolk have traditionally had a very close relationship to the Heavenly Bodies, especially the moon. Seeds were planted under certain signs of the Zodiac, plants and crops harvested under others. The Almanac was an important item in the cabin, it told the people the best and worst days for cutting hair, buying land, sheering... Continue Reading →

258: March 17th, Potatoes and Geese

Up until recent years Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17th, wasn’t celebrated in the Ozarks as most of the people, although of possible Irish ancestry, were Protestant and not Catholic. March 17th for many Ozark farmers, however, was an important day for planting, especially potatoes, perhaps a reference to Patrick? It was also said that geese... Continue Reading →

255: March Lore

From Vance Randolph’s Ozark Magic and Folklore: “In any case, a dry March is supposed to mean plenty of rain and good growin’ weather later on. There is an old sayin’ that ‘a bushel of dust in March is worth a bushel of silver in September.’” “Some believe that soap cooked in March thickens quicker... Continue Reading →

251: Groundhog Day

No I’m not crazy, nor am I really late in posting this Ozark Groundhog Day lore. Old folks around here used to celebrate the holiday on February 14th, not the 2nd, and swore up and down that the actions of the marmot on the 14th would be the only real sign of coming winter weather.... Continue Reading →

231: New Year’s Eve

I hope 2016 will be a year of blessings for you and your home. Here’s some New Year lore from Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Magic and Folklore”: “Mrs. Mabel E. Mueller, of Rolla, Missouri, tells me that the old-timers were careful never to let the supply of salt get too low they believed that to run completely... Continue Reading →

229: Christmas Eve

Here’s wishing everyone who celebrates it a very merry Christmas. Don’t forget to leave out some treats for the house and land spirits tonight. To get you in the mood, here are a few quotes about Christmas from Vance Randolph’s “Ozark Magic and Folklore”: “Some people think that the weather on December 25 is somehow correlated... Continue Reading →

228: Old Christmas

Many people don’t know this, but for many years Ozark and Appalachian hillfolk celebrated Christmas on January 6th, not December 25th. It’s said this was because the immigrants brought over the January 6th Christmas tradition from Europe with them, but sort of missed the memo for the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar... Continue Reading →

Day 15: May Day Lore

May Day in the Ozarks seems more often than not associated with certain marriage and husband-finding rites. The same associations can be seen elsewhere in American folklore, including Appalachian, and also certain European folk traditions. The idea of the May Pole is absent from Ozark folklore, probably because of it’s association with more “pagan” rites,... Continue Reading →

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