Pawn rule

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Farmer rules are mostly rhymed old folk sayings about the weather and the consequences for agriculture . The term weather rule is sometimes used synonymously with the term “peasant rule ”, but sometimes only rules are used that are not written in rhyme form, but are often scientifically justified. Even Aristotle undertook in his Meteorologica a first scientific attempt to fathom weather rules. In Europe, meteorology could only develop further in the Renaissance period , and new trade routes provided a better understanding of earth and weather. Even Galileo Galilei was convinced that many weather phenomena (weather rules) can be explained scientifically.


Peasant rules from 1515 from the historical collection of the University Library Mannheim

Peasant rules emerged from observation of the following circumstances and have been passed on through generations. A farmer's rule tries to make predictions and conclusions about future events from certain weather conditions . Most farmer rules deal with medium-term weather forecast , for example based on the weather or other natural events on certain days of a month or the weather of a whole month. The reference to weather messengers is also widespread.

Weather rules were already known in antiquity and appear in the Fasti Ovids , among others . Weather rules are also included in the New Testament , but here they refer to Palestine : “In addition, Jesus said to the people: As soon as you see clouds rising in the west, you say: There is rain. And so it comes. And when the south wind blows, you say: It's getting hot. And it comes ”( Luke 12 : 54-55  EU ).

From the combination of meteorological observations with folk, volksreligösen and superstitious weather forecasts resulting Bauernregeln of the 16th century in the German-speaking countries can be found in the first half spread, directed primarily at urban readers and 1508, first published in the print peasant practice of an unknown ostschwäbischen author.

The prevailing doctrine used to be that farmer rules are rarely right. In the 17th and 18th centuries (Age of Enlightenment ), many naturalists, e. B. Blaise Pascal , Isaac Newton , Anders Celsius , Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit and Benjamin Franklin , the understanding of the connections between local and continental weather phenomena. When at the end of the 20th century they began to be checked statistically , paying attention to the area in which the respective rule was created, it was found that peasant rules apply relatively often as empirical values. As Jörg Kachelmann pointed out several times in television interviews in 2004, the time of each rule and a possible postponement of the calendar must be taken into account since the introduction of the Gregorian calendar has "thrown out of step" many old peasant rules. If you take this into account, however, many regional rules are amazingly reliable.

It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of rules reflect regional experiences: Without knowing which region a rule comes from, it is usually worthless. Therefore, there are often contradicting rules on a lottery day, one of which may come from the Baltic Sea coast, the other from the Alpine region. There are very few rules that were common at least for all of Central Europe.

A selection of weather rules

What is striking is the large number of farmers' rules for the months of January, March, May and June (they were summarized in the form of the most meaningful formulations), as well as those for dates such as Mariä Candlemas (Feb. 2, see there) and Georgi / Markus (23 ./25 April). These include numerous “lost days ”, for example 22./25. Jan., 22./24. Feb., 21./25. March 3rd / 25th May, 8./10. June and “dormouse” June 27th.

  • On New Year's Day sunshine, the year lets us be fruitful.
  • Wasn't a real winter until Dreikönig, then nobody can figure it out. (+ local variants)
  • If Dreikönig is bright and clear, there will be good wine in the new year.
  • Great cold on Antoni Day doesn't like to last very long. (Antonius = 17.1.)
  • When it storms and snows at Candlemas, spring is not far away.
  • If it is bright and clear at candlestick, winter is neither half nor even. Or:
  • If the badger sundays in the week of candlesticks, he stays in his hole for 4 weeks!
  • If the Valentin has rainwater, spring will be even wetter. (Valentin = 14.2.)
  • If Petri's chair celebration still has ice and a lot of east, then February brings strong frost.
  • Märzen snow hurts the seeds.
  • If there is too much rain in March, the harvest brings little blessing.
  • If the grain is to be lush, it should be sown at St. Benedict. (Benedict = 21.3.)
  • The Annunciation, bright and clear, is a blessing for the whole year. (Annunciation = 25.3.)
  • If the sky is clear for Rupert, it will be so in July too. (Rupert = 27.3.)
  • April does what he wants.
  • When April blows the horn, hay and grain are good.
  • If it was beautiful and pure on Ambrosius, it will be all the wilder on Florian. (4.4. / 4.5.)
  • Ezekiel, do it quickly, do it up, put your linen in the money. (for flax sowing April 10th)
  • If Waltraud doesn't hear the cuckoo screeching, then he must have frozen to death. (remembered; April 9th)
  • May rain brings blessings.
  • A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.
  • When Stanislaus cries tears, they become bright lights. (Stanislaus = 7.5 .; Heller = silver coin)
  • Pankraz, Servaz, Bonifazi, three frosty Lumpazi. (= Ice Saints , May 12-14 )
  • Holy Nepomuk, drive the water back to us! (Joh.Nepomuk = 16.5.)
  • Human senses and June winds often change very quickly.
  • If there's thunderstorm in June, the grain will certainly be richer.
  • At St. Medardus it is determined whether the sun shines for 40 days. (Medardus = 8.6.)
  • If Margret has no sunshine, the hay never comes in dry. (Margret = 10.6.)
  • When St. Barnabas brings rain, there will be rich blessings of grapes. (Barnabas = 11.6.)
  • The weather on Dormouse Day may stay seven weeks. (Dormouse = 27.6.)
  • If the stars sparkle today, the wind will soon play the master. (see also scintillation )
  • If July brings hot embers, September is also good.
  • Maria Heimsuch is ordered as the weather lasts forty days. (The Visitation of the Virgin Mary = 2.7.)
  • Like the weather on St. Margaret, the same will be four more weeks. (Margareta = 13.7 .; old experience with high / low pressure situations in summer , often "rainy vacation")
  • August rain acts like poison when it hits the ripening grapes. However:
  • If it rains in August, it rains honey and good wine.
  • Heat on St. Dominikus - a severe winter must come (Dominikus = 4./8.8.)
  • Like the weather in Kassian, it lasts for many days (Kassian = 13.8 .; see also note on weather conditions July 13th)
  • The farmer likes the fine September rain.
  • When the spiders crawl in September , they smell a harsh winter.
  • Like the weather on Magnustag, it might stay for four weeks. (Magnus = 6.9.)
  • The swallows fly away (Ma.geburt = 8.9.)
  • Matthew, when he cries instead of laughing, he makes vinegar out of the wine. (Matthew = 21.9.)
  • A lot of October rain is a blessing for the fields.
  • If it rains on Saint Dionys, the winter will certainly be wet. (Dionysus = 9.10.)
  • Ursula brings in the herb, otherwise Simon and Judah will be in it. (21./28.10.)
  • With Crispin all flies are gone. (Crispin = 25.10.)
  • Sankt Wolfgang Regen promises a year full of blessings. (31.10.)
  • The more snow falls in November, the more fertile the field becomes.
  • If November has a white beard, winter will be long and hard.
  • If All Saints' Day (November 1st) brings a winter, Martini (November 11th) brings a summer
  • If the Martini is cloudy, the winter will be mild and sweet. (Martin = 11.11.)
  • Cold December with heavy snow is followed by a fertile year with plenty of clover.
  • December mild, with a lot of rain, is not a great blessing for the seeds.
  • If the birch sap is still flowing in December , the winter will not get any strength.
  • Christmas in the snow - Easter in the clover.
  • Pay attention to the weather from Christmas Day to Epiphany (January 6th), it will show you what the year will be awake.


In the meantime, there are also many corruptions of farmer rules on the Internet and in everyday life . In most cases, these have no relation to the weather, but rather use the wordplay of classic rules.

  • If there is a reactor at the edge of the forest - the farmer falls dead from the tractor.
  • If the farmer lies dead in the room - he never lives. If the farmer's wife is dead, she is no longer alive. If the children are still there, it was probably a mass murder.
  • If the rooster crows on the dung early, the weather changes or it stays as it is.

In February 2017, the Ministry of the Environment published New Farming Rules on its website and on posters to draw attention to problems in conventional agriculture. These were sayings such as "If the pig stands on one leg, the pigsty is too small", or "If poison hits the plants, the birds stay silent too". This led to protests from the farmers' associations, which led to an apology to the farmers and the suspension of the campaign by the responsible minister, Barbara Hendricks . Triggered by the campaign, countless other adaptations and new creations of farming rules then circulated on social media.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Farmer's rule  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Siegfried Werner: Deciphering weather secrets yourself. A guide for hobby meteorologists, hobby gardeners and anyone interested in the weather. Heyne, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-453-06640-5 .
  • Horst Malberg: Farmer rules. From a meteorological point of view. 3rd, expanded edition. Springer, Berlin et al. 1999, ISBN 3-540-65670-7 .
  • Harald Weingärtner: When the swallows fly low. The benefits of the weather and farmer rules. With a perpetual weather calendar. Unabridged paperback edition. Piper, Munich et al. 2000, ISBN 3-492-22881-X .
  • Rudolph Eisbrenner (Hrsg.): The big book of the peasant rules. 3333 Proverbs, Sayings and Weather Rules. Anaconda, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-86647-209-9 .
  • Friederike Fuchs: Farmer rules. Ancient knowledge about fields and gardens, farm medicine and customs. Weltbild, Augsburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-86800-025-2 .
  • Karsten Brandt : What is it about farmers' rules? Old weather knowledge put to the test. Bassermann, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8094-2765-0 .
  • Bernhard Michels: Old weather knowledge rediscovered. Farmer rules, clouds & wind, animals & plants. New edition, 2nd, revised edition. BLV, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8354-0739-8 .

Individual evidence

  1. Julie Lloyd: Weather. From climate history to weather forecast. Parragon, Bath (UK) n.d., p. 158.
  2. Gustav Hellmann (Ed.): In this little book we found the Pauren Practick and rule. Augsburg 1508; Facsimile print 1896.
  3. Hellmut Rosenfeld: 'Bauernprakik'. In: Burghart Wachinger et al. (Hrsg.): The German literature of the Middle Ages. Author Lexicon . 2nd, completely revised edition, volume 1: 'A solis ortus cardine' - Colmar Dominican chronicler. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1978, ISBN 3-11-007264-5 , Sp. 640-642.
  4. Julie Lloyd: Weather. From climate history to weather forecast. Parragon, Bath (UK) n.d., p. 159.
  5. New farmer rules: "We don't want to defame anyone, we just care about plants and animals" , Süddeutsche Zeitung , February 5, 2017
  6. New farmers' rules (PDF, 1.5 MB) , BMU , February 9, 2017