What kid doesn’t love the first snow of the season? In some parts of the world, it might be years in between snow falls. How incredibly exciting! Time to build a snow man, make snow angels, throw snowballs, and try to catch snowflakes on your tongue! Or maybe we should get some cream, sugar, and vanilla extract to make up a fresh batch of snow ice cream! Finally, yum! But wait, maybe you’ve been told that eating the first snow is bad luck. That not only is it bad luck, but it’s possibly dangerous. Yikes! That puts a bit of a damper on a fun winter snow day! So, is it bad luck to eat the first snow? Let’s find out.
First, it’s important to look at the history of this superstition to find out if there’s any valid reasoning behind it. And, the reasons behind this particular one might surprise you! Then we’ll talk about the odds of it actually being bad luck or not. While not always, usually superstitions and tales of bad luck have some story behind them that sparked it. What could possibly go wrong if you eat the first snow of the season? Well, settle down and get ready to learn all about bad luck and eating the first (and any) snow!
Is Eating The First Snow Actually Bad For You?
So, before we get into eating snow in general, let’s talk about the first snow. The superstition tells us that eating the first snow is bad luck specifically. Of course, the first question that often comes to mind is what actually constitutes the first snow? Does sleet count? What about the famous “wintry mix” is there any difference? Or, is it specifically just the first pure, white snow? And when is the first snow? Do you mean the season, the year, the month, or when? It’s really difficult to differentiate which is often times sign of a silly superstition.
Often the explanation given is that the first snow “cleans” the air. While there is some scientific research backing up this theory, it’s important to remember that wind and fronts change the air quality and pollutants in the air all the time. And, the water vapor that forms the snow that you’re possibly eating could have come from all sorts of places. It’s not just the first snow, but every time it snows. So, there might be some truth that the first snowflakes from any snowstorm at all might be worth skipping.
However, there is one undeniable reason not to eat the first snow. Well, from the ground anyway. It’s the first to hit surfaces which are probably unclean. You definitely don’t want to eat anything that touches many outside surfaces. They’re pretty gross and possibly have bacteria or who knows what on them! And, that’s including snow from the first or or last storm of the season.
Let’s Talk About Eating Snow In General
Okay, so we’ve established that for the overwhelming majority, the first snow is almost identical to every snow that follows after. So, is it possible that eating snow in general bad luck? Well, the consensus is for the most part that if you eat snow, you’ll probably be fine. While some sources say that the first few flakes of a storm are more likely to include everything from pesticides to heavy metals, generally even the amount of that you would be consuming is mostly harmless. However, if you have any concerns about eating it, try to wait a few hours into a storm. And, just for the record in case you ever need to know, the same applies to rain.
Still, catching a few errant flakes on your tongue is very unlikely to cause any issues at all. So, it’s nothing to worry about and probably not bad luck or a reason to stop your kids from having a little fun. Now, if you were to acquire questionably sourced snow at the start of a storm and make up a giant batch of snow ice cream it might be a different story. But, fresh, untouched and clean snow will usually make a wonderful, safe batch of snow ice cream to consume! So, chow down if you want!
But, remember the quality of your snow might vary based on where you live. Not all snow is the same. For instance, if you live in a highly populated urban area, it’s more likely that your snow might be contaminated more easily. As always, trust your intuition when it comes to eating snow. If it seems unwise, it probably is!
Conclusion – Is It Bad Luck To Eat The First Snow?
In conclusion, we’ve discovered that the first snow is pretty much the exact same as any other snow. So, the superstitions surrounding it being bad luck are probably bogus. However, the first flakes from any storm are more likely to contain more contaminants. Still, these contaminants are in such trace amounts that they will more than likely cause you no harm.
Even still, it is impossible to say that consuming the first snow won’t always cause some harm. It’s impossible to know the exact factors in the environment during the first snow you might experience. This might vary especially in urban areas with higher pollutants. Also, who can tell if the snow collected will come from clean surfaces or if it will be otherwise contaminated with who knows what.
In other words, in most cases, eating snow will be entirely harmless. Even the first snow is mostly harmless. However, it is impossible to know if you might meet a less than desired outcome from eating the first snow especially at the first part of the storm depending on collection methods. And, nothing says bad luck like eating dirty, contaminated snow from an unclean surface when it comes to illnesses.
It’s important to remember it probably became a superstition because someone somewhere might have gotten sick from it. And while it’s more likely that happened because it came from a dirty surface rather than the snow itself, nothing is for certain. Because of this, I can’t say that it’s either good luck or bad luck for sure.
So, final answer. Is it bad luck to eat the first snow? Maybe.