Did anyone experience that bizarre sunshower yesterday afternoon around 3? It made Gothamist remember an old saying from childhood: if it rains when it's sunny, the devil's beating his wife.
Famous New Orleanian Lafcadio Hearn recorded this saying in an essay called New Orleans Superstitions that was published in Harper's Weekly in 1886. You may also recognize the one about the shooting star:
Some other creole superstitions are equally characterized by naïve beauty. Never put out with your finger the little red spark that tries to linger on the wick of a blown-out candle: just so long as it burns, some soul in purgatory enjoys rest from torment. Shooting-stars are souls escaping from purgatory: if you can make a good wish three times before the star disappears, the wish will be granted. When there is sunshine and rain together, a colored nurse will tell the children, "Gadé! djabe apé batte so femme." (Look! the devil's beating his wife!)
Apparently other cultures also have sayings associated with sunshowers--some variations include "Foxes' wedding" in Japanese and "the wolf is giving birth" in Armenian. Know any more?