Manifesting a Snow Day: Rituals & Superstitions for Endless Snow

Make your own forecast with these snowy superstitions and rituals. Try a few of these out, and a snow day might not be far behind.

Published December 6, 2023
Girl outside playing in the snow

As a child growing up in Western New York, it took a lot, and I mean a lot for us to have a snow day. More often than not, schools were closed not because of snow but because the temperature was too cold. Seriously!

But that didn't stop my friends and I from doing whatever it was we could to make a snow day happen. And once the internet was at our fingertips, we made sure to let others know via instant message to do the same. As for what we did to get a snow day? I'll let you in on our secrets.

A Sleepy Snow Day Ritual: Sleep With Your Pajamas Inside Out

Young boy and girl running down staircase in home wearing pajamas

This one is simple and quite silly. So even if you decide to try this approach out as an adult (and let's face it, a snow day as an adult is pretty awesome too), prepare for bedtime giggles. Whether you sleep in a nightgown or a flannel pajama set, to conjure a snow day, you need to sleep with pajamas inside out. Some will even go the extra mile and wear them backward. 

Put a Penny in the Freezer

There's no story behind the penny in the freezer magic, just one that has been passed down from generation to generation in Western New York. If you want a snow day, you need to put a penny in the freezer right before you go to bed.

For a better chance of a snowstorm, freeze your penny into an ice cube. This was something even my parents did when they were growing up!

Fall Asleep With a Spoon Under Your Pillow

woman sleeping

Perhaps it's meant to symbolize a shovel, but sleeping with your spoon under your pillow is said to help summon a snow day. It's much more comfortable than sleeping with a snowblower or snow plow in your bedroom and it's a tried-and-true favorite of mine. Opt for a smaller spoon that can't poke your eye and skip the giant serving spoon mom uses for the mashed potatoes.

Drop a Few Ice Cubes in the Toilet

Why we dropped ice cubes into the toilet, I'll never know. Some households swear you need to flush the ice cubes, but others swore by the approach that you needed to let them melt before flushing. If you opt to flush before melting, make sure you only use a few ice cubes, and that they're on the smaller side. 

Throw Ice Cubes Into the Yard for a Snow Day

Ice cubes in the garden

As the story goes, for every ice cube you throw into the yard, that's how many inches of snow you'll get. And, once upon a time, freezers didn't come with ice makers, so you were limited to the ice tray that needed cracking. This method definitely required some planning back in my day, but now, with ice so readily available, every five cubes could be an inch so as not to incur the humor of Jack Frost. 

Do a Snow Dance

Snow dance, rain dance, pass-the-test dance, there was a dance for every woe and hurdle in the 90s. Do a snow dance in your yard, with boots and a jacket to let the weather know you're ready, or sing along to your favorite winter songs indoors — in your backward pajamas, naturally. 

Stack a Few Coins on Your Windowsill

Jar of coins on windowsill

Sometimes to get a job done, you need to use a little bit of bribery. And nothing speaks volumes quite like money. In this snow day superstition, Jack Frost, the unofficial official spirit of snowfall and snowy days, would take the coins in exchange for just enough snow for you to have a snow day. Mostly this was with whatever coins were lying around.

Fast Fact

In another variation of this ritual, people tape pennies to the window itself in the hopes of a snow day. 

Stick a White or Blue Crayon in the Freezer

This isn't one I knew of growing up, but one friend says in her youth she swore by leaving a white or blue crayon in the freezer. It once began with only white crayons but, like many things in childhood (such as battery-operated toys), crayons often disappear all on their own. So a blue crayon was used in its place. Which is quite appropriate given the blue hue of a thick snowfall.

Have Ice Cream for Dinner

woman eating an ice cream cone

What better way to summon icy cold weather with a frozen ferocity than eating something cold and delicious? Maybe the cosmos knows how badly you want to munch on some cold, clean, white snow only after you have ice cream for dinner. Whether you opt for plain vanilla or your favorite makes no difference, although you can certainly spin that own tradition how you'd like in your house. Then get ready for all the best snow day activities

Strategies for Days Full of Snowflakes

After inteviewing my eight-year-old self, she found a snow day was most likely to happen when you cross two or three things off this list. Her favorite was putting a penny in the freezer, grabbing a spoon to bring upstairs on her way to brush her teeth, then, of course, sleeping with her pajamas inside out. When pressed for answers, she never said anything about the success rate. But snow days are about magic, after all. 

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Manifesting a Snow Day: Rituals & Superstitions for Endless Snow