Back to the time before weather forecasts, the people of the Maltese islands (mostly the farmers) adopted a rather simplistic method to try to predict weather for the year after. Starting on the 13th of December, the feast of St. Lucia, they would observe the weather of each day noting shifts in the wind, the amount of clouds in the sky, any rainfall or sunshine and the auras around the moon. These are called the Calends, or in maltese Irwiegel.
The first day, would correspond to January, the next day to February…etc. Each day divided into 3 – morning, noon and night, corresponding to the start, middle and end of the month. Each day started at midnight and farmers, or anyone else interested in predicting the weather in this ancient fashion, were supposed to take note of the weather variations that occurred throughout the course of each day, as the day represented the span of the whole month. In this way they thought they would have an idea of what the next year would bring.Although there is no scientific data to back this tradition, some elderly farmers claim that they used to use this method with success and in certain villages this method is still carried out today.
Traditions are dying!
With the passing of the years, farmers are always in decline. Luckily there are still farmers keen to keep up the Calends tradition!
Above in the picture, is a farmer called Gejtu. He has long stopped working the land yet he still follows the calends and this year he gave out these predictions 🙂
January’2018 – High winds with low levels of rain (TRUE PREDICTION SO FAR)
February’2018 – Rain during the first half of the Month, rest will be sunny all month!
March ’2018 – Overall good, dry month
April ’2018 – Stormy month
May ’2018 – Rain at the end of the month
June ’2018 – Rain at the beginning of the month yet sunny and hot for the rest
July ’2018 – Rain events during the month!!
August ’2018 – A thunderstorm or two during the mid-month otherwise sunny
September ’2018 – Bad weather at the end of the month
October ’2018 – Dry month with rain showers towards the end of the month
November ’2018 – November will be calm and good all over.
December ’2018 – December will be good on us.
Naturally these are old traditions that are to be taken with a pinch of salt!