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PAGE 4 " : POST-GAZE'FrE, APRIL 21, 2017 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore Red Skies and Croaking Frogs:A Guide to Italian Weather Lore by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz Spring is here, and that means weather as fickle as a teenager's mood. Some days, like this past Easter, boast record warmth and abundant sunshine, laden with the care- free atmosphere and scent of fresh vegetation reminiscent of midsummer. Other days fea- ture brisk breezes that ruffle the delicate new daffodils and tulips, and co61 air that calls for a coat. Of course, spring simply would not be spring without the arrival of brief but soaking rain showers. During these rains, people disappear under umbrel- las and colorful rubber boots as they splash their way through the day, jumping in and out of puddles. The aftermath of a spring rain is just as magical: the foliage appears greener, birds commence singing again with renewed gusto, and a rain- bow may vividly spread its col- ors across the sky. Nowadays, knowledge of this weather, from atypically humid Easters to spring rainstorms, is always at our disposal due to meteo- rological reports on television and apps on our smartphones. However, people in older times needed ingenious ways to de- termine the weather. After all, in agricultural and maritime societies, weather was often a matter of life and death, as it controlled the success of the harvest or the ability to head to the sea and fish. ItaIy used to be one such agricultural society, and therefore still contains a multitude of weather super- stitions and lore. I remember some of these sayings from my childhood, where they formed an indelible part of my Italian cultural heritage. These pieces of weather folklore are often repeated from generation to generation, even in contempo- rary times, a testament to their ancient power. A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with my best friend at a local Thai restaurant. She looked out the window and gasped, re- marking on how amazing the sky appeared. I turned around to a stunning sight: bright pink clouds streaked across the sky like threads of cotton candy, tinged in gold by the setting sun. I told my friend that the weather tomorrow would probably be nice. How did I know this with- out checking my phone? WeU, I had remembered an Italian saying my grandmother often intoned in a singsong voice: "Rosso di sera, buon tempo si spera/ Rosso di mattina, la piog- gia s'avicina." Roughly trans- lated, this means: "Red at night, good weather awaits/Red at morning, the rain approaches." My grandmother repeated this dictum so often that I con- sider it an essential staple of my childhood, right alongside Baby-Sitters Club books andmy mother's homemade pancakes. Basically, this proverb explains that a sunset with a reddish tone foretells fine weather the foUowing day, while a red-hued sunrise promises a day of rain. I discovered fairly recently that this maxim has a famous Eng- lish-language counterpart: "Red sky at night, sailors' delight/ Red sky at morning, sailors take warning." Though the red skies proverb dates back thousands of years, it contains some meteo- rological truth. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association (NOAA), a red sky at sunset may be caused by the sun illuminating dust particles in the air, indicating a high- pressure system that brings good weather. Conversely, the red sky at morning indicates that the high-pressure system is passing, which may be replaced by a rain-inducing low-pressure system. Our ancestors knew what they were talk[n" g about[ Encouraged by the memory of this proverb, I grew inspired to search for other nuggets of Owned and operated by Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher, Post-Gazette Public Insurance Adjuster Since 1969 FOR ALL YOUR INSURANCE NEEDS AUTO * HOMEOWNERS * TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference 209 BROADWAY, REVERE, MA 02151 Tel. 781.284.1100 Fax 781.284.2200 Free Parking Adjacent to Building Italian weather lore. The website of Italy's Osservatorio Mete- orlogico, Agrario, Geologico, a meteorological observatory run by Prof. Don Gian Carlo Raf- faeli and hailing back to 1865, compiled a number of popular weather sayings from across the country. Not surprisingly, much of the lore concerns rain -- after all, it was important to know when it would rain in order to shelter livestock and control the amount of water the crops received, or exercise care during a fishing voyage. ~Cielo a pecoreUe acqua a cantinelle" means that rain showers will soon arrive when the clouds resemble a sheep's wool. My mother frequently repeated this proverb whenever we saw such clouds, which bear the scientific name altocumuli. An- other superstition that foretold rain stated =quando il gatto si lecca il pelo, viene acqua gid dal delo'-- rain will fall from the sky when a cat cleans its fur! This was also a favorite dictum of my grandmother's, and I al- ways think of it whenever I see my cat washing herself. Not all Italian weather lore talks about rain, however. According to one ma~n, "quando la rana canta, il tempo cambio," a croaking frog is indicative of imminent weather changes. "Stelle troppo scintillante vento forte ate da- vanti" warns that excessively twinkling stars foretell strong winds. Good weather, on the other hand, can be expected following low fog, a:s evidenced in the proverb ~la nebbia bassa buon tempo fascia." Finally, one of my favorite weather sayings happily declares "arcobaleno porta il sereno'-- a rainbow af- ter a storm brings calm weather. It reminds me of the joy and re- awakening of nature that occurs in the spring, under the brilliant colors of an afternoon rainbow! Weather lore, though no lon- ger taken as seriously in our days of Doppler radar, contin- ues to yield influence in the realm of cultural treasures and national characteristics. Some pieces of vceather lore contain meteorological truths, while others decidedly do not; however, they all demonstrate the importar~ce of weather to societies that depended on the unpredictable nature of farming or fishing. Moreover, weather lore, like aU quaint traditions and superstitions, link us to the rich, unending lineage of our ancestors. I associate weather customs with family memories and parts of my childhood, such as my grandmother singing about red skies or my father playfully remarking that, ac- cording to stories from his boy2 hood, rain falling during sun- shine meant that the fox was getting married. So let's cherish aU the proverbs about weather that have been passed down from our ancestors, no matter how silly they sound. They are another invaluable part of our heritage and our place in this world, rain or shine[ Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz is a Graduate Student in History at the University of Massachu- setts Boston. She appreciates any comments and suggestions about Italian holidays and folk- tore at adicenso89~FgmaiLcom. by Sal Giarratani It's All Bull, Fearless GM Gotta Go! I' have never seen such an amazing bunch of bull from the politically correct crowd of progressives and feminists who just don't understand why the sculptor of Wall Street's "Charging Bull," Arturo Di Modica, is so angry at what has happened to his piece of uplifting art. The "Fearless Girl" statue was installed in February a few feet from his bull and Arturo believes the little girl violates his artistic copyright. The "Fearless Girl" facing down the bull has transformed "The Charging Bull' into a negative force. The 11-foot tall bull is supposed to stand for "freedom in the world, peace, strength, power, and love," but the image of a defiant little girl facing it down changes everything about Di Modica's vision. The girl has become a symbol of female empowerment, but only because of its placement next to the bull. Di Modlca's creation is now simply a part of a larger message represented by the defiance of a little girl staring down his creation. Can you image the liberal uproar had little defiant "Fearless Gift" been there first and then the bull roamed into view? Mayor Bill de Blasio has sided against the bull; is anyone surprised? It is so unfair for New York City Hall to usurp the work of an artist to make a political statement. Mixing politics and art is like mixing fire and gasoline. If "Fearless Girl" remains against the wishes of Arturo De Modica, perhaps another statue of Mayor Bill De Btasio should be placed in the rear of "Charging Bull." r In Memory of Carmela ( )ello t usso) l?ozzella jdugust 26, 1921 - lpri111, 2017 C armela Vozzella (Dello Russo) of Boston's North End on April 11, 2017. Beloved wife of the late Albert A. Vozzella Sr. Loving mother of Robert J. Vozzella of Everett, Mother-in-law of Karen Vozzella and the late Albert A. Vozzella Jr., and Joseph Vozzella. Cherished grandmother of Jennifer Belmonte and her husband Thomas of Saugus, Anthony, Nicholas and Stephen Vozzella all of Malden; great-grandmother of eight. Dear sister of the late Theresa Rizzo, Carmen Dello Russo, Ernest Dello Russo, Ralph Dello Russo, John Dello Russo, Cecilia Nuzzo, and Gino Dello Russo. Also survived by loving nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, North Square, Boston. Donations in Carmela's memory may be made to St. Leonard Church, 320 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113. ' END , Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus * Flyers Program Books * Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents COMPETITIVE PRICES ---