Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Christmas Folklore

My life in appalachia - Christmas Folklore

Yesterday’s post made me think of the guest post, written by Celia Miles, that I published last Christmas (if you missed the beautiful Christmas story-go here to read it).

Once Celia’s heartwarming story came to mind I couldn’t quit thinking about the Christmas folklore at the center of the story. I checked out Frank C. Brown’s Collection of NC Folklore to see if there were any other interesting tidbits of Christmas Folklore from NC. Here’s what I found:

  • If a rooster crows repeatedly at 12 o’clock he is crowing for Christmas
  • Nothing made of leather during Christmas time will be durable
  • At midnight on Christmas Eve all the cattle in the fields kneel and low
  • It is unlucky to carry anything away from the house on Christmas morning unless something is brought in first
  • At midnight on Christmas Eve all the farm animals kneel down in their stalls or in the field to honor Christ.
  • If it snows on Christmas day-the grass will be green on Easter
  • A warm Christmas means a cold Easter

I can’t really think of any Christmas folklore I heard growing up-other than the one about farm animals kneeling at midnight on Christmas Eve. How about you?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    December 24, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I can’t think of anything, Tipper. But I’m gonna try to watch and see if my horses kneal at midnight. As dard as it gets here I’m not too sure I’ll see them if they do.

  • Reply
    December 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    We also believed that all the farm animals could talk at midnight on Christmas Eve. A bit of folklore that I really loved was that all ghosts, goblins, and witches lost all their powers on Christmas Eve and could not harm you. I was safe from the monster in my closet.

  • Reply
    grandpa Ken
    December 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    The folks would say if you had been bad you would get a bundle of peach switches. No time out in those days HO HO HO Merry Christmas.

  • Reply
    Jessica Puckett
    December 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    My granny and momma always made snow cream (snow mixed with sugar and vanilla if you had any on hand)for me and my brother. However, eating the first snow of the year was not allowed because it would make you sick. Especially if it happened to be Christmas snow. 🙂

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    December 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I remember lining up our shoes on Christmas..many years ago…
    I had long since forgotten about doing it and why…until..
    I was reading on the “Irish Folklore and Customs” (Christmas) website that placing the shoes side by side prevented a quarrel on Christmas…I know at our house it did ’cause shoes tossed everywhere made my Mom aggravated! LOL
    Another one I read on their website was…”As for Christmas Day itself, according to an old verse,
    “If Christmas Day on a Sunday fall
    A troublesome Winter we shall have all.”
    Uh-oh….I believe we may be in store for a bad winter!…
    I’ve heard most all of those you posted or some version of them!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    December 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I love the thought of the animals speaking at midnight. I always mean to go and listen, but I always seem to fall asleep. Kinda like when I was a kid and tried to stay awake to hear Santa. That never happened either!

  • Reply
    B f
    December 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    merry christmas to you and your family
    you sure do put a lot of time and effort in all you do to make us happy
    i look forward to the blind pig as i know others do too and all the good old songs bring back memories to when we had all our family around now that made made christmas
    blessings going your way

  • Reply
    December 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

    If I had known about all this
    Folklore when I was a kid, I’d
    have checked out the cattle thing
    kneeling. We had a black and white
    milk cow (a Gernsey I think) and
    I’d have been at the barn for the
    stroke of midnite…Interesting

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    December 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Being a city girl, I don’t remember my parents ever sharing any type of folklore. The ones I read above are very interesting. I plan to share them with friends.
    Merry Christmas! May you and your family be blessed!

  • Reply
    Melissa P (Misplaced Southerner)
    December 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I always heard that, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all the animals could talk. It was supposed to be a gift to the animals in honor of the donkey who carried Him and His mother, Mary, into Bethlehem. Sweet, isn’t it?

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    December 23, 2011 at 8:56 am

    I’ve heard about the animals and the one about a white Christmas and a green Easter. And, my family always said and followed the tradition of keeping the Christmas tree up until New Years Day. It was bad luck to take it down before then.

  • Reply
    kathryn magendie
    December 23, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Only that if I didn’t straight up and fly right I’d end up with coal in my stocking and then that coal-filled stocking would be used to beat me over the head til I behaved . . . well, maybe not exactly, but almost *laugh*
    Going to link to you today when I do my linky love post 🙂

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    December 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I can’t remember any other ones either Tipper, except the cattle and the one about Easter being cold.. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas..Susie

  • Reply
    December 23, 2011 at 8:14 am

    can’t think of a single thing other than a few of what you mentioned are familiar to me. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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