Sunshower

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A sunshower over a parking lot.

A sunshower or sun shower is a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.[1] These conditions often lead to the appearance of a rainbow, if the sun is at a low enough angle.[1] Although used in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Britain, the term "sunshower" is rarely found in dictionaries.[2] Additionally, the phenomenon has a wide range of sometimes remarkably similar folkloric names in cultures around the world.[3] A common theme is that of clever animals getting married or related to the devil, although many variations of parts of this theme exist.[2][3]

Folkloric names[edit]

A sunshower over Waller creek in Austin, Texas.

Animals[edit]

  • In Afrikaans, this phenomemon, i.e. when it rains and the sun shines is referred to as Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou, meaning 'Jackal marries wolf's wife[4]'.[5]
  • In Bangladesh, the Fox is getting married "shial mamar bia hosse"
  • In Brazil, "Casamento da Raposa" (Fox's Wedding) or "Sun and rain (sol e chuva), Widow's (viúva) marriage".
  • In Bulgaria, there is a saying about a bear and a fox getting married.[2]
  • In El Salvador, the traditional belief is that the deer is giving birth.
  • In Eritrea, the traditional belief is that the hyena is giving birth.
  • In France, it is called "le mariage du loup" or "the wolf's wedding"
  • In Hawaii, it is known as "Ghost Rain".
  • In Japan, it is known as "kitsune no yomeiri", or "the kitsune's wedding", and means a fox's wedding ceremony is being held.
  • In Kenya, hyenas are getting married.
  • In Korea, a male tiger gets married to a fox.
  • In Mazandarani language, in north of Iran, it is also called "the jackal’s wedding".
  • In Morocco, it is the "wolf's wedding".
  • In Nepal (Nepali), it is called "the foxes wedding" or "gham-paani, gham-paani shyal ko bihe" which literally translates to "Sunshine-rain, sunshine-rain, the fox is getting married". In fact there's a local song dedicated to Sunshower.
  • In Pashto, it is also called "Da gidarh wade" or "the jackal's wedding".
  • In Pakistani Punjab, it is also called "Kani gidh Da waye" or "one eye jackal's wedding".
  • In Philippines, the traditional belief is that the wedding of a tikbalang is being held.
  • In Sinhala, it is called "the foxes wedding" (අව්වයි වැස්සයි, නරියගෙ මගුලයි.).
  • In South African English, a sunshower is referred to as a "monkey’s wedding", a loan translation of the Zulu umshado wezinkawu, a wedding for monkeys.[2]
  • In Sudan, the Donkey and Monkey are getting married.
  • In various African languages, leopards are getting married.
  • In Sweden it's called "vitterväder".
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, it is called "Monkey Marriddin" or monkeys getting married.
  • In parts of the United Kingdom, it is referred to as "a monkey's birthday".
  • In Tanzania, they say "Simba anazaa" - literally "the lioness is giving birth."

India[edit]

  • In Bengali, it is called "the foxes wedding".
  • In Gujarat, it is called "naago varsaad", meaning Naked Rain.
  • In Hindi, it is also called "the foxes wedding".[2]
  • In Kannada, it is called "Kaage Nari maduve" which means Crow and fox getting married" (ಕಾಗೆ ನರಿ ಮದುವೆ)
  • In Konkani, it is called "a monkey's wedding".
  • In Maharashtra (Marathi), it is called "Nagda Paaus" literally meaning "Naked Rain".
  • In Malayalam language, it is said as Fox's wedding (kurukkande kalyanam)
  • In Oriya, it is called "the foxes wedding"(ଶିଆଳ ମାନେ ବାହା ହେଉଛନ୍ତି ).
  • In Tamil Nadu, South India, the Tamil speaking people say that the fox and the crow/raven are getting married (காக்காவுக்கும் நரிக்கும் கல்யாணம்).
  • In Telugu, it is called "Yenda Vanala, kukkala nakkala pelli" which means "Dogs and Foxes getting married in the sunshowers" (ఎండా వానలో కుక్కల, నక్కల పెళ్ళి).

Devils[edit]

In the United States, particularly in the Southern United States, and in Hungary as well, a sunshower is said to show that "the devil is beating his wife" (or, more rarely, "the devil is beating his wife with a walking stick") because he is angry God created a beautiful day. The rain is said to be his wife's tears. A regional variant from Tennessee is "the devil is kissing his wife".[6][7] In French, the phrase is "Le diable bat sa femme et marie sa fille"[8] (i.e., "the devil is beating his wife and marrying his daughter"). In the Netherlands they say that there is a "funfair going on in hell".[9] In St. Kitts and Nevis, when rain is falling and the sun is shining, it is said that 'D devil a bang he wife'. In Liberia, it is said that "the devil is fighting with his wife over a chicken bone."

Other variations[edit]

  • In Lithuanian and Estonian (vaeslapse pisarad), the phenomenon is described as "orphans' tears", where the sun is the grandmother drying those tears.
  • In Russian, it is called грибной дождь (gribnoy dozhd'), "mushroom rain", as such conditions are considered favorable to growing mushrooms.[10]
  • In Indonesian, the phenomenon is the sign of someone who is rich and well known has died in the place where the sunshower happened, so the sky is showing its condolences.
  • In Catalonia it is said that the witches are brushing their hair, "les bruixes es pentinen".
  • In Afrikaans it is said that Jackel is marrying Wolf's wife, "Jakkals trou met Wolf se vrou".
  • In the Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic, it is said that a witch is getting married.
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, "Sun shining, Rain falling, Monkey marrying"
  • In Haiti, it is said that a zombie is beating his wife for salty food. Devil is sometimes interchanged for zombie.
  • In Argentina, it is said that an old woman is getting married.
  • In Croatia, it is said that gypsies are getting married, "Cigani se žene".
  • In Macedonia, it is also said that gypsies are getting married, "Циганка се мажи", and also that a bear is getting married, "Мечка се жени/мажи".
  • In the Netherlands, a sunshower is sometimes called "chicken carnival".

Modern cultural references[edit]

Poster for Akira Kurosawa's 1990 film "Dreams", which features a fox wedding

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Symonds, Steve, Weather Terms - Wild Weather, 2004, ABC North Coast, Retrieved November 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e Quinion, Michael, Monkey's Wedding, 2001, World Wide Words, Retrieved November 2006
  3. ^ a b Vaux, Bert, Sunshower summary, 1998,linguistlist.org, retrieved November 2006
  4. ^ http://www.taaloord.co.za/taalberigte.htm
  5. ^ http://www.mieliestronk.com/idiomeboekej.html
  6. ^ Sunshower at Word Detective. Accessed August 6, 2007.
  7. ^ Sunshower Devil Thread on Snopes.com. Accessed August 6, 2007.
  8. ^ Samson, D. N. (1920). English into French: Five Thousand English Locutions Rendered into Idiomatic French, London: Humphrey Milford at Oxford University Press (digital copy at Archive.org, OCLC 259775152), p. 102: "It rains and shines at the same time : Le diable bat sa femme et marie sa fille"
  9. ^ http://www.woorden.org/spreekwoord.php?woord=kermis%20in%20de%20hel
  10. ^ A Way with Words

Bibliography[edit]

  • Blust, Robert (1998) The Fox's Wedding. Manuscript, University of Hawaii.
  • Evgen'jeva, A. P., ed. (1985-) Slovar' russkogo jazyka v 4 tomakh, 3rd edition. Moscow.
  • Kuusi, Matti (1957) Regen bei Sonnenschein: Zur Weltgeschichte einer Redensart. "Folklore Fellows Communications" n. 171, Helsinki 1957 (it appeared translated into Italian in the journal "Quaderni di Semantica" 13 (1992) and 14 (1993)).
  • Hoffmann-Krayer, E. (1930–31) Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens. Berlin and Leipzig: Walter de Gruyter.

External links[edit]