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A sunset sunshower in the Mojave desert
A Sunshower over Crater Mountain, Landers, California

A sunshower or sun shower is a meteorological phenomenon in which rain falls while the sun is shining.[1] A sunshower is usually the result of accompanying winds associated with a rain storm sometimes miles away, blowing the airborne raindrops into an area where there are no clouds, therefore causing a sunshower. Sometimes a sunshower is created when a single rain cloud passes overhead, and the Sun's angle keeps the sunlight from being obstructed by overhead clouds.

Sunshower 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 the UK, 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 and tricksters getting married or related to the devil, although many variations of this theme are in existence.[2][3]

Folkloric names[edit]

A sunshower over Waller creek in Austin, Texas.
  • In Afrikaans, this phenomenon, i.e. when it rains and the sun shines, the traditional belief is Jakkals trou met wolf se vrou, meaning 'Jackal marries wolf's wife'.[4][5]
  • In Albania, when it rains and the sun shines, people say that a romani wedding is taking place somewhere near[citation needed].
  • In Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, it is called "عرس الذيب – عرس الذئب (Ar's A'Dib)" or "the wolf's wedding"[citation needed]
  • In Bangladesh: "শিয়াল মামার বিয়া হচ্ছে" "Shial mamar bia hochchhe" "Uncle fox is getting married"[citation needed]
  • In Basque: "Azeri besta" ("Fox feast") or "Azeri ezteia" ("Fox's wedding"): as the sun is shining, the chickens stay outside, but as it is also raining, they remain still, paralyzed by the rain; the fox seizes that occasion to eat them.[citation needed]
  • In Belgium, Flanders: the traditional belief is that of "Duiveltjeskermis" or "Devil's fair"[citation needed]
  • In Brazil, "Casamento da raposa" (fox's wedding), "Sol e chuva, casamento de viúva", which is a rhyme that means "Sun and rain, widow's wedding/marriage" or "Chuva e sol, casamento do espanhol", which is a rhyme that means "Rain and Sun, Spanish man's wedding/marriage" (which is often used as a response to the first rhyme or vice versa).[citation needed]
  • In Bulgaria, there is a saying about a bear getting married.[2]
  • In El Salvador, it is said that the deer is giving birth[citation needed].
  • In Ethiopia and Eritrea, it is said that the hyena is giving birth.[citation needed]
  • In Finland, it is called "Ketut kylpevät" or "foxes are taking bath"[citation needed]
  • In France, it is traditionally believed that "Le mariage du loup" or "the wolf's wedding", or "giboulée" is taking place[citation needed]
  • In Galician, the traditional belief is that the vixen or the fox are getting married: casa a raposa / casa o raposo; sometimes the wolf and the vixen: Estanse casando o lobo coa raposa.[6]
  • in Greece they say "ήλιος και βροχή, παντρεύονται οι φτωχοί. Ήλιος και φεγγάρι, παντρεύονται οι γαιδαροι," which means "Sun and rain, the poor are getting married. Sun and moon, the donkeys are getting married."
  • In Hawaii, it is known as "ghost rain" or "liquid sunshine".
  • In Iran it is known as ".گرگ داره میزاد" which means "wolf giving birth".
  • In Italy they say "Piove e c'è il sole, la gatta fa l'amore" which means "It rains with the sun, the (female) cat is making love".
  • In Jamaica, it is known as "The Devil and his wife are having a fight" This is significant of the two opposing elements: Sun Vs. Rain.
  • In Japan, it is known as "Kitsune no yomeiri", or "the fox's wedding."
  • In Kenya, hyenas or monkeys are getting married.
  • In Korea, a male tiger gets married to a fox, which makes the cloud, who loved the fox, weep behind the sun.
  • In the Mazandarani language, in north of Iran, it is also called "the jackal's wedding".
  • In Maldives, it is also "The rain that falls when a noble infidel dies".
  • In Malta it is known as "Twieled Tork" which translates to "A Turkish baby has been born".
  • In Tunisia and Morocco, it is the "wolf's wedding". In the north, they say: "Shta Wel Kayla Wel 'Urss Del 'Ayla" which means "The rain and the sun and the girl's wedding."
  • In Nepal (Nepali), it is called "a jackal's wedding" or "Gham-paani, gham-paani shyal ko bihe" which literally translates to "Sunshower, sunshower, a jackal's wedding". There are folksongs about sunshowers.
  • 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 it is said the tikbalang is getting married.[7]
  • In Puerto Rico, it is said that witches are getting married.
  • In Sri Lanka in the Sinhala, it is called "the fox's 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 is called "vitterväder".
  • In Trinidad and Tobago, it is called "Monkey Marriddin" or monkeys getting married.
  • In parts of the United Kingdom, traditional belief is that it is "a monkey's birthday".
  • In Tanzania, they say "Simba anazaa" – literally "the lioness is giving birth".
  • In Thailand, it is said to happen when somebody passes away.
  • In Zimbabwe, it is referred to as a "monkey's wedding".


  • In Assamese, it is called "Khonra xiyaalor biya (খঁৰা শিয়ালৰ বিয়া)", meaning "the bob-tailed fox's wedding".
  • In Bengali, it is called "the blind fox's wedding".
  • In Gujarati, it is called "Naago varsaad", meaning "naked rain".
  • In Hindi, it is also called "the ghosts' 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 Marathi, it is called "nagda paaus", meaning "naked rain".
  • In Malayalam, it is called "the fox's wedding" (കുറുക്കന്റെ കല്യാണം)
  • In Oriya, it is called "the fox's wedding" (ଖରା ହେଉଛି ମେଘ ହେଉଛି, ଶିଆଳ ପୁଅ ବାହା ହେଉଛି).
  • In Tamil, it is called "The fox and the crow is getting married" (காக்காவுக்கும் நரிக்கும் கல்யாணம்).
  • In Telugu, it is called "Yenda Vanalo, kukkala nakkala pelli" which means "Dogs and foxes getting married in the sunshowers" (ఎండా వానలో కుక్కల, నక్కల పెళ్ళి). It can also be called "Kaki Pelli", which means "crow's marriage".
  • In Inda, and Burma, those who speak the Tangkhul language, refer to sunshowers as the 'wedding of a spirit to a human'.


In the Southern United States, a sunshower is traditionally believed to be when "the devil is beating his wife." A regional belief from Tennessee is "the devil is kissing his wife".[8]

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 traditionally believed to be favorable to growing mushrooms.[9] Also, it is called слепой дождь (slepoy dozhd'), "blind rain", because it doesn't see that it shouldn't be raining.[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 combing their hair: "Les bruixes es pentinen".
  • In Poland it is said that a witch is making butter, "Słońce świeci, deszczyk pada, baba jaga masło składa".
  • In the Caribbean islands such as Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic, it is said that a witch is getting married.
  • In Guyana, it is known as "Sun-Rain".
  • 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 Serbia, It is said traditionally believed that angels are bathing, "Анђели се купају" (Anđeli se kupaju).
  • In Croatia, it is said that gypsies are getting married, "Cigani se žene".
  • In Kazakhstan, it is said that a poor man got rich, "Кедей адам байыды".
  • 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 Venezuela, the word 'cachimba' refers to raining while sunny.
  • In Cuba, "Se está casando la hija del diablo", i.e. "The Devil's daughter is getting married"
  • In Hebrew it is called a שמש משקרת (Shémesh meshakéret) – a lying sun
  • In Vietnamese, it is called "mua bong may" or "mưa bóng mây" (cloud shadow rain)
  • In Efik culture of south eastern flank of Nigeria, it is believed that the lioness (or any of the wild cats) is giving birth behind the house.
  • In Korea it is called Fox rain That means a fox is getting married to a tiger. The cloud loved the fox but the fox is getting married to the tiger, so it sheds tears.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Symonds, Steve (2004). "Weather Terms - Wild Weather". ABC North Coast. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e Quinion, Michael (2001). "Monkey's Wedding". World Wide Words. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  3. ^ a b Vaux, Bert (1998). "Sunshower summary". Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  4. ^ Liebenberg, Helena. "Taalberigte: Agir en die Wolf". Taaloord (in Afrikaans). Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Afrikaanse idiome met hul verklarings". Mieliestronk (in Afrikaans). Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ Ferro Ruibal, Xesús (2007). "Cando chove e dá o sol... ¿Un fraseoloxismo internacional poliédrico?" (PDF). Cadernos de Fraseoloxía Galega (in Galician). Centro Ramón Piñeiro para a Investigación en Humanidades (9): 67–94.
  7. ^ "Rare sunshower phenomenon". CNN iReport. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Sunshowers: When The Devil Beats His Wife". Appalachian Magazine. 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  9. ^ "A year of words".
  10. ^ "Слепой дождь". (in Russian).


  • 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]