Symol Day Colour Guide
On the last full week of the Month of Collecting, the Symols prepare to hibernate through the winter. The last Symol awake would go around to all the entrance holes and close them. It’s a Meridell tradition to wait around a Symol hole and wait to see how the Symol closes the hole, from above or below. If it closes it above it’s said to be a sign of a shorter winter, but if it does it from below it’s said the winter would be long. However, there are additional beliefs that the Colour of the Symol also tells something about the winter. Not all Symol Colours have an additional belief, or at least one that’s been generally accepted, but for the ones that are here are:
Symol Day Colour Guide
So much trust is put on the Symol to predict the weather;
A Petpet who spends most of its life underground.
Symols: Gold & Rainbow
Meaning: Good luck and prosperous winter
Being Meridell heavily relies on farming for food and other goods, winter is generally considered a low point. Farmers plant more crops than usual in the summer so they’ll have a huge harvest in autumn to having enough supplies to last the winter where most farmer’s lands will rest until the spring (though there are some crops that grow in cold weather that some farmers do try growing during autumn and winter). This is where the Rainbow and rumored Gold Symols come in. It’s believed that the vibrant colors of the Rainbow Symol signify the land is healthy of full of nutrients, promising a huge harvest and the land ready to be farmed on at the end of winter. The rumored Gold Symol is said to appear when the land is so fertile that it’ll even grow crops during the winter, but none have ever been seen.
Symols: Darigan, Grey, & Mutant
Meaning: Bad luck and harsh winter
Going from good to bad, seeing any of these Symols will put many in a panic and possibly harvest as many crops as they could early. Considering Meridell’s history, it’s understandable why the Darigan Symol would bring such fears, some believing they would intentionally go around and destroy the root of crops. The Grey Symol is taken to mean the land isn’t that good which would result in less and poor quality crops. The Mutant Symol is a sort of combination of both, its presence alone believing to be harming the land. Whatever the case, due to the farmers harvesting, it does result in less crops and possibly damaging their land in the rush, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Symols: Eventide, Sketchy, & Starry
Meaning: Clear sky winter
Clouds during winter means chance of snow, less light, and cold. Clear skies are always a welcomed sight, as are these Symols. But aside from the Sketchy Symol you may be waiting a while to see one. The Eventide Symol usually appears as the sun is setting, its body seemingly mimicking the sun’s descent. The Starry Symol you have to wait until night to see, but when it pops up the stars on its body are said to twinkle along with stars in the sky. The Sketchy Symol is less poetic but makes up for it in an odd belief: that it can see through objects. It’s believed there’s no reason for it to go above ground unless the skies are clear so it can see the sky without using its see-through vision. Why these Symols liking to look up at clear skies is believed to be a sign of clear skies during the winter isn’t explained.
Symols: Cloud & Snow
Meaning: Overcast and stormy winter
Going back to a previous statement, clouds during winter means chance of snow. However this could mean anything between light snowfalls to a blizzard. While winter usually comes with a mix of both, a Cloud and Snow Symol is believed to mean there will be many heavy snowfalls and blizzards to come. The reasoning is that both Symols are more comfortable in colder weather thus a sign that it’s already starting to become winter weather. The Cloud Symol is believed to be the less severe, a sign of the winter being constantly overcast so more chance of snow storms. It’s the Snow Symol everyone is worried to see as it’s believed it guarantees mostly blizzards.
Symols: Maractite & Water
Meaning: Wet and slippery winter
What’s worse than an overcast winter? Ask any Meridellian and they’ll say it’s a wet winter as all the snow hardens into slippery ice. What determines a wet winter is how much leftover is in the air, and it’s that moisture which attracts the Maractite and Water Symol. The Maractite Symol means the beginning of winter will quickly freeze over, some saying usually appearing if it rained recently so there’s leftover moisture going into winter. The Water Symol means throughout the entire winter all snowfalls will freeze if allowed to settle, some saying usually appearing had it rained all throughout Autumn so the forests and soil are damp and slowly release their moisture over time.
Symols: Magma & Tyrannian
Meaning: Warm and little snow or snowless winter
But what if the Autumn had been dry, not only lacking in rain but it’s slow to get cold? It might mean the Magma or Tyrannian Symol has a chance of appearing. These Symols prefer dry and warm weather, the Magma Symol more than the Tyrannian Symol. The Tyrannian Symol is said to mean there will be cold days with snow but not that much. The Magma Symol is treated like it’s a sign of a snowless winter and warmer more often than not. Some farmers sometimes decide to plant crops during the winter if they see a Magma or Tyrannian Symol, though it’s usually still too cold for anything to grow.
Symols: Clay & Plushie
Meaning: Soft snow winter
While most adults don’t like the snow, for kids it’s a different story. For kids snow is fun. Snowball fights, piling up snow forts, and making snowmen and snow faeries. To a kid the best kind of snow would be soft snow which is why the Clay and Plushie Symol are loved by kids. The Clay Symol is believed to signify the soft snow will stick together, perfect for snowmen and snow forts. The Plushie Symol is believed to signify the soft snow will be loose, just right for snowballs and snow faeries. It’s not quite explained how these Symol know what the consistency the snow will be like, actually its usually only kids who believe this so it’s questionable if this is a seriously considered belief.
Symols: Dirt & Dung
Meaning: Dirty and foul smelling winter
Another set of unwanted Symols, whenever the Dirt or Dung Symol show up they’re met with disappointing sighs. Believed to show up if not enough farmers took care of their fields or from some out of control natural cause, the result is a winter with yellow or brown stained snow and giving off the aroma of a Petpet barn. The Dirt Symol will lean more toward the snow being discolored, a result of too much soil being left loose by careless farming or erosion by rain and wind. The Dung Symol leans toward the snow having a foul smell, resulting from either farmers using too much dung to fertilize their land or there was a swarm of Petpets that was left alone.
Symols: Chocolate & Electric
Meaning: Active and lively winter
Petpet activity during the winter season decreases with many Petpets either going into hibernation or migrating to warmer weathers. But then there are a few years where there is a sense of life in the air and the usual silent and still surroundings have some more noise and movement. This is believed to be signaled by the Chocolate and Electric Symols. The belief is that the Chocolate Symol means the hibernating Petpets will wake up early, its sugary body said to show there’s rapid energy flow happening underground. The Electric Symol means the migrating Petpets will come back early, it able to sense a rapid energy flow in the air. Either way, one or both of these Petpets returning early would not only add sound and movement but also begin the Spring cycle early as they’ll scatter seeds while eating.
Symols: Elderly, Ghost, & Zombie
Meaning: Silent and macabre winter
Just as there are lively winters, there are also somber winters. The winter season usually is described as silent, though a few years the silence had a sort of menacing feel to it. Whenever the Elderly, Ghost, or Zombie Symol rose from the hole, it’s believed a chilling time is ahead and not just from the cold. The Elderly Symol is a sign that this coming spring there may be less Petpets around, believing that it’s a representative of its generation of Petpets and itself is seeing the surface one last time. The Ghost Symol is taken to mean that it’ll be dangerous to go outside, some saying if a winter wind sounds like a ghostly moan it’ll cause you to compulsively shiver to death unless you can find warmth. Finally the Zombie Symol is thought to be a warning of a plague, be it one that kills plant life like trees and crops or a sweeping illness. When these Symols are seen many families lock themselves in for the winter, once again being a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
Symols: Faerie & Glowing
Meaning: Magical or mystical winter
Up till this point you could tell that the Symols were either associated with either a positive or negative belief. This last one is more ambiguous; it’s not positive or negative but more a heightened feeling that there’s something special. Representing this are the Faerie and Glowing Symols, a duo you wouldn’t think go together but what they are believed to mean sound similar so I grouped them together. The Faerie Symol is believed to mean that there is a high amount of magic this winter, the Faerie Symol thought to be drawn to magic. The Glowing Symol is even more mysterious, the belief with it is just that something is going to happen this winter. It’s also said the brighter the Glowing Symol is, the more stranger or mystical this event is going to be. No explanation why, just simply its unnatural appearance has been taken to meaning something unnatural might happen for it to show up.
If you couldn’t tell throughout this article, there’s very little evidence supporting any of these beliefs. The basic practice itself has been brought to question as years of research has shown the way the last Symol closes the hole didn’t match up with how long the winter was suppose to last about half of the time. This conclusion also goes for these beliefs, though admittedly there’s not a lot of data to work with and some are unreliable as the reports are perspective based. Finally there’s little proof or it’s outright wrong that specific Symols have the abilities they are said to have. So, why do Neopians still follow this practice? Well, it could just be a reason for communities to gather together, socialize, celebrate, and help one another. It may also give some goals to work toward to while they wait for the Spring to come. There may be no scientific reasoning behind this, but you don’t need a reason to hang out and have a good time with family, friends, and neighbors. Just don’t take what the Symol does too seriously.