Days of the blackbird: what they are and legend

THE days of the blackbird these are days that make you tremble at the very thought, they have nothing to do with the Halloween holidays because they are at the end of January. Behind this name there are many legends, believe it or not, every year I notice that these days ago particularly cold, I don't know if it's the power of suggestion, or if it's true.

Days of the blackbird: what they are

THE days of the blackbird they are the coldest of the year or at least have the reputation of being so. It is not a scientific definition, it is a legend that it does not happen that these days are identified every year by observing the temperatures. It is already known that these special days fall between the end of January and the beginning of February. There are two "versions". There are those who identify them as the 29, 30 and 31 January and who instead combines the last two days of January with the first of February.

One thing is certain: the days of the blackbird are three and they are in that period, even if the meteorological statistics recent years have made us observe that during the year there are colder days.

Days of the blackbird: legend

There is a legend that explains why we can expect particularly cold temperatures in this period, despite not having any scientific studies on which to base ourselves, before telling it I want to reveal a legend within a legend. In fact, it seems that when the days of the blackbird are particularly cold, then spring will be beautiful, but if, against all expectations, they are warm, spring will arrive late.

Let's see now what the legend says and if we intend to believe it. Once upon a time there was a blackbird with all its chicks, all black like males of the same species. In a very cold day they would take refuge in a chimney to try to shelter, staying there for three days before re-emerging and trying to see if the temperatures had dropped.

Once you emerge from the chimney after three days of stay, all close to each other, they would have found themselves completely gray because of the soot. Even being outdoors, the color would never go away and all the female blackbirds and young would remain gray. This fairy tale was born above all to explain the fort in a fabulous way sexual dimorphism which is observed in the livery of the blackbird, an animal with a scientific name Turdus Merula.

The females of this animal have the plumage of an indefinite color between brown and gray, including the beak, while the males have a bright black livery with a yellow-orange beak.

As often happens with legends handed down from generation to generation and in different geographical areas, there are some many versions, some very linear like the one just heard, others more elaborate like the one we are about to tell.

The protagonist is always a blackbird that this time is found scrambled since January, a cold month that is raging against her by unleashing storms of frost just when she put her nose out of the nest to go and get food for herself and her children. Tired of suffering, the animal one day thought of stock up for the whole month to be able to close in their lair without putting their beak out and without starving, waiting for February.

At the time the month of January was 28 days old, the blackbird did the counter by coming out of the den in what she thought should have been the first day of the new month. It didn't work like that, though, because January came to ask the month of February three days on loan to be able to deceive her and make her despair again with its great cold. So here is the blackbird come out convinced and still find itself in the month of January, with storms of wind and rain unleashed against her. Numb from the cold she did not give up and he found refuge in a chimney for the three days of storm coming out safe and sound, but gray because of the soot of the chimney. It remained so despite the heavy rain taken in the following months.

Days of the blackbird: proverb

Such a legend is shrouded in many popular beliefs, among the best known are the so-called "popular songs of the Merla", typical of some areas of Lombardy where the days of the blackbird are welcomed with a big bonfire in the churchyard or on the banks of the river, around which the songs are sung all dressed up by peasants, then the women with aprons and shawls and the men with tarbarno and hats. It is the perfect opportunity to taste wine and traditional food. THE popular songs of the Merla they are not the same everywhere, the lyrics can change but not the themes which are always those of winter and love.

We find the blackbird also the protagonist of other popular sayings. For example it can happen to give someone a blackbird. What does it mean? Calling him naive, considering him a naive person who sings victory ahead of time and then pays the consequences. Here are some proverbs that have this animal linked to the cold as its protagonist.

In the Bolognese it is said: "When the blackbird sings, we are out of winter", a old proverb from Romagna advises the blackbird not to sing even in March because it could freeze its beak, leaving, instead, the tordella that has no pause for anyone to sing. There are also a Brescia proverb - “I have two sous on loan and I will find one. If you are white, it will make you black, and if you are black, you will become white "- and one from Bergamo -" Sing the blackbird, winter is over, I greet you master, I find another roof! ". If you want to talk about frost, here are some phrases about cold that you can quote

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Video: WRITE Where We Are NOW: Days of the Blackbird (May 2021).