What Symbolizes Rain?

Rain is viewed differently by each individual. It can be a big hassle if you have somewhere to go or are already out and about, especially if you’re stranded without an umbrella. However, there might be something calming about watching and listening to the rain while you’re secure and dry inside your home during a storm.

Rain may just be a natural occurrence, but in pop culture and the arts, it also has deeper significance. What does rain therefore stand for? It somewhat depends on the situation. Rain is often used as a metaphor for grief, yet it may also represent purification and rebirth. In light of this, let’s explore some of the numerous metaphorical meanings associated with rain in more detail.

What Symbolizes Rain?

Rain frequently carries a negative meaning. Rain might be interpreted as a sign of melancholy or a portent of bad days ahead because storms are frequently accompanied by ominous clouds. Rain can represent sentiments of sadness, unhappiness, or bitterness when there is no sign of sunshine.

Even while rain carries foreboding connotations, this natural event can also be seen positively. Hearing rainfall outdoors can be tranquil, and it can also be a sign of purification and clarity. Rain naturally purifies the air, hydrates parched earth, and gets rid of pollution.

However, rain can be seen as a metaphor for purifying the mind and spirit from a symbolic perspective. When a person consciously decides to turn over a new leaf and let go of any negativity, it might indicate a real transition in their life.

The ending of The Lion King (1994) offers an excellent illustration; when Simba (voiced by Matthew Broderick) has assumed his proper position, rains purify the Pride Lands.

Rain can also represent a major epiphany or conclusion, especially when it pertains to romance. For instance, in the well-known 2004 movie The Notebook, the leads, Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling), come to terms with their unresolved affections for one another in the midst of a violent downpour.

What Spiritual Meaning Does Rain Have?

Regarding spirituality and religion, rain has a variety of connotations. In the Christian religion, rain can stand in for the Holy Spirit, who is frequently depicted in the Bible as being released like rain upon the earth.

In the Bible, rain is also used to represent a time of harvest, especially after protracted periods of famine and drought. Even when it appears like there is no hope left, the harvest season requires time, patience, and labour. Christians have a strong confidence that God will always supply and pour down benefits like rain when it is time, much like the harvest in the autumn.

In other cases, rain was utilised as a kind of divine retribution, particularly in the Noahic tale, in which God is claimed to have destroyed the entire earth with a massive flood. Only Noah, his family, and two of each species of land animal survived thanks to the enormous ark that God commanded Noah to construct.

There was light at the end of the tunnel even then, in the book of “Genesis.” God promised not to drown the earth ever again. A rainbow is supposed to appear after every storm as a sign of that promise. That is also a sign of recovery and regeneration.

Hinduism holds that the gods send rain to ensure a good harvest and herds of livestock so they can accept food sacrifices from people on earth. The rain and ultimately abundance will continue to fall if the gods are content and well-fed as a result of their sacrifices. However, people believe that there is a rift between the gods and mankind when there is a drought or even an abundance of rain.

Why Do We Crave Sadness During Rain?

Many people discover that their attitude dramatically changes during a rainfall, despite the fact that rain can be peaceful and offer a sense of relief or hope. The entire day may make you unpleasant and unproductive. In the midst of a downpour, feelings of uncertainty, hopelessness, and depression could surface. Why then do we feel depressed when it rains?

Consider the normal natural events that take place when it rains. It’s likely that the sun sets and the sky turns ominous. Practically speaking, the sun does make us happier, which is why some people experience seasonal depression in the winter.

However, a violent storm and everything that goes along with it, such as strong winds, thunder, and lightning, can also make us consider certain existential questions. Dealing with a storm may be frightening and intimidating since you never know what difficulties it will cause in the future or when it will even cease.

Storms and rain are often used as metaphors for difficult and unsettling moments in life. Unfortunately, rain can occasionally act as a cruel affirmation that nothing in our life will ever go as planned. Even the actual (and figurative) light at the end of the tunnel looks far away when it is pouring heavily.

Rain and Death Allegory

Going a step further, rain may also represent death. Rain serves as a metaphor for all of the negative things that happen in the protagonists’ lives in Ernest Hemingway’s famous book A Farewell to Arms. Rain is a metaphor for the despair and gloom they frequently experience. The main illustration is when the main character loses the love of his life. He dejectedly makes his way home in the rain after leaving the hospital.

However, there is a positive perspective on rain and passing away. In the Victorian era, rain after a loved one passed away or at a funeral was interpreted as an indication that the person had entered heaven.

Rain was interpreted as the deceased communicating their anguish at bidding farewell to and leaving behind their loved ones. Those who are left behind on earth may be saddened by a loss, but strangely enough, they may find solace in the rain if they subscribe to this philosophy.

Dream Symbolism of Rain

It might be either pleasant or harmful if it rains in your dreams. Dreams of rain may predict future successes and crops, but they may also portend difficulties in your path. For instance, if you can just remember the rain in your dream and no other aspects, you might shortly experience success. That straightforward dream could be the motivation you require to take control of your life and have faith in your skills.

Additionally, having dreams about the sound of rain or even being soaked when it’s raining is a sign of good fortune. Dreams like those indicate that soon, peace, harmony, and good things will enter your life.

On the other hand, having a dream about rain under different conditions may have a bad connotation. The presence of heavy rain in your dreams may indicate that you are carrying a lot of anger and need to resolve disagreements with individuals close to you. A very stormy sky in your dreams may indicate that you are experiencing depressive sentiments and need to work on letting them go in order to live a more upbeat existence.

Is rain lucky or unlucky?

Many people question if rain brings good or bad luck because of all the varied connotations it might have. Rainy, gloomy days could be associated with ill luck, especially during important occasions like weddings. However, the majority of people believe that rain is a sign of luck.

Rainfall on wedding days is seen to be a sign of good fortune for the newlyweds because it can be interpreted as transition, renewal, and fresh beginnings. It’s said that having rain on your wedding day will start a new life together and wash away any bad experiences the couple may have had in the past.

It might also be good fortune, since the couple will have a happy marriage if they can successfully navigate the challenges of life together.

Rain on other significant days, such as your birthday or moving day, also represents a new beginning and proof that your life is headed in the right direction. Even rain on the first date might represent a fresh start and be interpreted as a good omen for the future.

Common metaphors for rain

Rain is frequently used as a metaphor due to its significance, particularly in idioms. For instance, “nature’s bath” is a typical metaphor or moniker for rain. Rain can be thought of as purifying the environment, much like how we take showers to clean our bodies. We can clearly see how beneficial and necessary rain is to the land, the trees, and other elements of nature, especially during dry seasons with little to no precipitation.

“Into each life, a little rain must fall” is a saying that is frequently used to describe rain. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it will actually rain on you everywhere you go. The expression is symbolic.

It implies that everyone will face difficulties and hardships (the “rain”) throughout their lives. No matter how hard we try, we cannot escape difficult situations. Although many people realise that bad circumstances won’t endure forever, they learn to deal with them and persevere. And after everything is said and done, the metaphorical rain might result in a lovely metaphorical rainbow or a plentiful crop.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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