Folklore about Chinook Wind

CarundersnowChinook arrived again to our area. Those terrible temperature hikes from plus to minus and vice versа, sometimes up to 20 degrees C an hour.

Look at the photos to the left and to the right: one moment the car is covered with the snow, next moment the Chinook arch is hanging over the city. It is crazy, isn’t it?

So, many legends and folklore stories are in the air about Chinook.

Listen: “The Bear that Stole the Chinook” by Jack Gladston

Native legend of the Lil’wat subgroup of the St’at’ime tells of a girl named Chinook-Wind who married Glacier and moved to his country which was in the region of today’s Birkenhead River. She pined for her warm sea-home in the South-West and sent a message to her people. They came to her in a vision in the form of snowflakes, and told her that they were coming to get her. They came in great numbers and quarreled with Glacier over her and they overwhelmed him and she went home with them in the end.

This is a slide show “Calgary Chinook” about how we enjoy these crazy winds helping to put a kite into the air and glide it.    

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There are some more famous Chinook folk tales that most people in Southern Alberta probably know from their childhood:

* A man rode his horse to the church, only just to find the steeple sticking out of the snow. So, he tied his horse to theCalgary Chinook arch steeple with the other horses, and went down the snow tunnel to attend church service. When everybody emerged from the church, they found that a Chinook had melted all of the snow, and their horses were now all dangling from the church steeple.

* A man was riding his sleigh to town when a Chinook overcame him. He kept pace with the wind, and while the horses were running belly deep in snow, the sleigh rails were running in mud up to the buckboard. The cow that was tied behind was kicking up dust.

* A man and his wife were out during a Chinook. The wife was heavily dressed and the man was wearing summer clothes. When the couple had returned home, the man had frostbite, and the woman had heatstroke.

So that’s how it goes!

Enjoy:Chinook Wind: Corb Lund the Hurting! Albertans-

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