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L-Irwiegel - The Calends

L-Irwiegel - The Calends - derived from the word "riegla" or rule - the rules of the weather!

In the days before weather forecasts and satellites, the people of these islands (mostly the farmers) adopted a curious method of trying to predict the weather for the following year.  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.

The first day on which this was done would correspond to January, the next day to February and so on. Each day was also divided into 3 - morning, noon and night, depicting 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.

Proverbs and idioms related to the weather:

The Sun - Ix-Xemx

Xemx bajda tiġbed ix-xita - A white (pale) sun draws the rain.

Nhar ta' Ħamis, meta x-xemx tinżel ġo Xkora, stenna l-maltemp - On Thursday, when the sun goes down in a sack, expect bad (stormy) weather.

The Winds - Ir-Rjieħ

Mill-ksieħ u r-Riħ jiġul-għeleijel - from cold and wind come diseases;

mix-xemx u x-xita jsiru l-għelejjel - from sun and rain come harvests.

Tramuntata mara sewwa, imma fuqha ma torbotx - The North wind is a good woman but you can't rely on her.

Riħ Isfel, Meta tniggeż il-ħmar jiżfen - When the wind blows in the South East, and you prick the donkey, how it will dance.

Il-Punent iwiegħed u jagħti - The West wind raises (cloud), and lowers them all the time.

Il-Lvant jimla l-vagant - The East wind fills the vacant spaces with (clouds).

Il-Bic riħ jew xita żgur iġib, The South west wind is sure to bring either wind or rain.

Ix-Xlokk wil-Lbic l-agħar żewġt irjieħ - The south East wind and the South West wind are the worst winds.

The Clouds - Is-Sħab

Sħab mill-Lbic ilma żgur iġib -  Clouds in the south West will certainly bring rain.

Raff bir-rjus, ragħad u beraq ikollna (stenna) - When you see a cloud rack, expect thunder and lightning.

L-Iswed ibażża' u l-abjad ixabba' - Black clouds frighten; white clouds satiate (the soil)

Rain - Xita

Ix-xita l-Bikrija tnebbet il-ġarġir - Early rain Spanish mustard sprout.

Ix-xita bil-Boqoq xita dewwiema - Rain in bubbles is lasting rain.

Sena tax-xita, sena tal-maltemp - A rainy year, a year of storms.

Il-qamar idamdam,            The moon rumbles,

Il-kewkba qoffa,                 The star is a basket,

I-xemx dennija,                  The sun is harmful,

U dix-Xita mnejn hi ġejj?    And where is the rain coming from?.

The Seasons - L-Istaguni

Sena għammiela tħallas il-qbirla. - A fruitful year pays the rent.

is-snin bħall-aħwa, ma jixxibhux. - Years like brothers are not alike.

Spring - Rebbiegħa

Ir-Rebbiegħ hija s-sebħ tas-sena,     Spring is the down of the year,

is-Sajf nofsinhar,                               Summer its noon,

il-Ħarifa l-għarb w ix-xitwa lejl.         Autumn its sunset (lit. West) and Winter its night.

Summer - Sajf

Sajf imniddi, ħarġa mimlija. - A wet summer, a full window sill.

Is-Sajf jagħmil bina,        When the heat becomes unbearable,

in-nagħġa ttina pilha,      the sheep gives us her wool.

Autumn - Harifa

Fil-Ħarifa l-mara tlesti l-qaleb bl-ġbejna u tħawwad il-brejma binnejna. - In Autumn the wife fills the cheese-form with curdled milk and stirs (the baby's or child) soup in the little pot.

Għomma l-Ħarifa, bard fix-xitwa. - Heat in Autumn it gets also dearer.

Winter - Xitwa

Ix-Xitwa tagħmel tagħha: imsejken mon ma jkollux biex jilqagħha. - When winter is very serve, alas for him that is not will-provided against it.

Ix-Xitwa mara sewwa, is-sajf raġel xalatur. - Winter is a good woman, Summer is a spendthrift.

Is-snin bħall-aħwa: ma jixxibhux...ma tantx tista’ tkun żgur fit-tbassir tat-temp.

Skont l-annata timtela l-qannata...mix-xita li tagħmel matul is-sena jikber ġid il-bidwi.

Mill-bidwi u mir-ragħaj l-ewwel għana tad-dinja...il-ħwejjeġ essenzjali jagħtuhomlna l-bdiewa u r-rgħajja.

Jekk is-sena tkun ħażina l-muna tkun imgerfxa...sena nieqsa mill-ilma tfisser ikel skars u ħażna fqira.

Sena għammiela tħallas il-qbiela...sena bix-xita tħalli profitt lill-bidwi u jista’ jħallas il-kera tal-għelieqi.

Qamar rieqed, baħrin imqajma...meta l-qamar ikun jidher imxengel ifisser li ġej il-maltemp u allura l-baħrin iridu jibqgħu mqajma jindukraw il-bastiment.                                           

Saints' Calender - Almanakk tal-Qaddisin

25th January: Nhar San Pawl il-Temp ibiddel ("iqalleb") seba' darbiet. - On St. Paul's day the weather changes seven times

6th February: Meta tiġi l-Gandlora t-temp jitlaq u jvor. - When Candlemas comes, (bad) weather goes away and sets of

24th February: San Mattija iżra' t-Tomnija, la mwaħħra lanqas bikrija. - On the day of St Matthias, sow the wheat neither too late nor too early

7th March: Nhar San Tumas, il-ġurnata titwal pass ta' ħmar qammas. - On St. Thoma's Day, the day grows longer by the pace of a kicking donkey

12th March: Nhar San Girgor, il Kabocci tiha l-ħmar. - On St. Gregory's Day, give cabbages to the Donkey

25th April: Nhar San Mark ix-Xita nar fl-art - On St. Mark's Day rain is fire on earth

24th June: F' San Ġwann tidħol il-Għassa. - In the month of St. John there is a change of guard, i.e. Spring ends and Summer begins

29th June: Nhar l-Imnarja l-bajd itei fl-arja. - At the tome of the Feast of SS. Peter and Paul the price of eggs soars in the air

25th July: It-tin bejn Sant' Anna (26th July) u San Ġakbu jbexxaq fommu. - Between St. Ann's day (25th July), and St James (26th July) (figs begin to open their months)

10th August: San Lawrenz, ix-xahar tas-sħana. - The month of St. Lawrence is the month of heat

15th August: Santa Marija f'nofs Awissu, u kulħadd jieħu li jmissu - St. Mary's Feast falls in the middle of August, when everyone takes what is due to him

24th August: San Bartilmew għandu l-muftieħ tax-xita. - St, Bartholomew has got the keys of the rain

8th September: F'tal-Vitorja l-baħar jitla' fl-għolja. - On the Day of Our Lady of Victory the sea raised high

21st September: San Mattew, żrigħ it-tewm, qtigħ ir-rummien - St. Matthew's Day is the right time for sowing garlic and for cutting pomegranates

29th September: San Mikiel żrigħ ir-rummien.- St. Micheal's Day is the time for sowing pomegranates

28th October: Nhar San Xmun iżra' niexef jew miblul - On St. Simone's Day sow whether the soil is dry or wet

1st Sun. Oct: Jekk tagħmel ix-xita nhar tar-Rużarju filgħodu, tkun bikrija - If it rains in the morning of the day of the Holy Rosary rain will come early - Jekk tagħmel ix-xita minn nofs inhar il’quddiem, tkun imwaħħra - if it rains from midday onwards, rain will be late

6th November: Meta jasal San Anard iżra f'kull art - When St. Leonard's Day arrives, sow in every soil

11th November: is-sajf ta' San Martin, il-biedja tifraħ bih - St. Martin's Summer gladdens the fields (agriculture)

4th December: Santa Barbara. la deni u lanqas ħsara - St. Barbara, pray we suffer neither evil nor harm

8th December: Mill-Kunciżżjoni sal-Milied erfa' l-moħriet minn ħalq il-wied u qiegħed l-ixkubetta fuq l-utied - From the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception till Christmas, take away the plough from the mount of the valley and put the fowling piece on the peg

Source: Journal of Maltese studies.

Maltese Meteorological and Agricultural Proverbs.

By J. Aquilina

 

Qwiel Maltin

Meta l-blat jibjad, il-Mellieħa jew jitla l-baħar għaliha jew tiġi x-xita.

Alla fuq kollox u fuq kulħadd, xemx u xita jibgħat lil kulħadd.

Alwett bil-gziez xita bil-qliel.

Bir-riħ ta' ħtienu qed juri snienu.

B' riħ jew b' riefnu minn hawn għandna nsiefu.

Fejn tidħol ix-xemx ma jidħolx it-tabib.

Fir - raba' ħamri iżra' kmieni u mwaħħar fil-bajjad.

Il-beraq dukkar ix-xita.

Il-beraq fil-ibic ix-xita jgib.

Il-qamar bil-pipa f' ħalqu u kulħadd kif Alla ħalqu.

Is-sħana tax-xemx ma tgħallix patata.

It-temp mill-ibic spiss ikun bir-riħ jew x-xita.

Ix-xemx ma titgħattiex bl-għarbiel.

Ix-xemx tar-rebbiegħ tibla' bħall-belliegħa.

Ix-xemx titla' u tinżel għal kulħadd.

Ix-xita mil-lvant timla l-vakant.

Ix-xita mill-punent ma tħallix ilment.

Jekk wara nofs in-nhar ix-xemx tkun bajdanija, aktarx tkun ġejja x-xita għal fil-għaxija.

La tħallix is-sħiħ għar-riħ.

Meta jberraq tkun ġejja x-xita.

Meta fis-sajf iberraq it-Tramuntana jew xita qiiel jew kbir sħana.

Meta fl-art jidħol il-gawwi, stenna riħ qawwi.

Meta jiġu l-pluvieri, jiġi l-maltemp.

Meta jberraq il-Punent ikun ilesti għall-maltemp.

Meta titla' x-xemx, igħibu l-kwiekeb.

Meta x-xemx tinżel fl-ixkora (sħab) turi l-maltemp.

Meta x-xita tagħmel bikri u tibqa' sa l-imwaħħar, il-bidwi jkollu x' jitma' u jaħżen sa l-aħħar.

Min jimxi bir-riħ isib ruħu f'ofs it-triq.

Min jizra' r-riħ jaħsad it-temesti.

Qatt issiefer kontra r-riħ.

Riħ isfel bic-cpar stenna majjistral.

Riħ ta' siegħa jnaddaf qiegħa.

Sħab mil-lbic xita żgur iġib.

Thallix ir riħ jimliek.

Timliex rasek bir-riħ li għaddej.

Tiżrax it-tamar lekk ma jkunx qamar.

Wara l-beraq stenna r-ragħda.

Wara l-maltemp jiġi l-bnazzi.

Xemx bajda tiġbed ix-xita.

 



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