DAYS OF THE BLACKBIRD
January, 29, 30, 31
In northern Italy, the last days of January (29,30,31) are called “giorni della merla” [days of the (female) blackbird], because are generally the coldest days of the year. This appellative comes from a legend according to which the blackbirds were once birds with white feathers and during the winter, as usual, quite difficult for them to find food. Once, just during the last days of January, the cold increased so much that a family of blackbirds had to find shelter in a chimney. When they came out, their plumage had become completely black and it is said that from that day most blackbirds had a black plumage (in fact, white blackbirds are quite rare).
Farmers also say that on January 29, 30 and 31 if the weather will be very cold, the spring then will come sooner and will be sweet. Conversely, if these days will be less cold, the coming spring will be delayed.