An Interesting Word – Serein

Imagine this: It’s a beautiful evening, and you’re outside, enjoying the cool weather. There’s not a cloud in the sky, and the sun is just about to sink below the horizon. The moment can’t be anymore picturesque. Just then, you feel a drop of water hit you. You look up, surprised, realizing that it’s now drizzling, despite the fact it’s a cloudless evening, You hurry inside as the rain continues to fall. Believe it or not, you just experienced serein.

Serein is the phenomenon where rain, especially a light, fine drizzle, seems to fall from a cloudless sky. It’s like a sunshower, where it rains when it’s sunny, except in the early evening. It’s pronounced “suh-ran”, just like the plastic cling wrap you cover food with.

The word serein comes from the French word serein meaning “serene” or “clear” just like what a serein night is. However, another possible origin for serein is the old French word serain which means “evening.”

Since it’s impossible for rain to fall from a cloudless sky, how does serein happen? Well, one possible explanation is if rain is falling nearby and there is a breeze, that wind can blow raindrops to where you are, making it seem like it’s raining without a cloud in the sky.

No matter where this word came from or what causes it, it’s a unique phenomenon. I couldn’t find a video of serein happening, but here’s one of a sunshower happening at the beach.

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

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