St. Swithin's Day
St. Swithin's Day is 15 July, a day on which people watch the weather for tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithin's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days.There is a weather-rhyme that is well known throughout the British Isles since Elizabethan times. copied from projectbritain.com
'St. Swithin's day if thou dost raindost = does
thou = you
nae mair = no more.
Who was St. Swithin?St. Swithin (or more properly, Swithun) was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and educated in its capital, Winchester. He was famous for charitable gifts and building churches.
Why do people watch the weather on St. Swithin's day?A legend says that as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried out of doors, where he would be trodden on and rained on. For nine years, his wishes were followed, but then, the monks of Winchester attempted to remove his remains to a splendid shrine inside the cathedral on 15 July 971. According to legend there was a heavy rain storm either during the ceremony or on its anniversary.
This led to the old wives' tale (folklore) that if it rains on (July 15th), it will rain for the next 40 days in succession, and a fine 15th July will be followed by 40 days of fine weather. copied from projectbritain.com
However, according to the Met Office, this old wives' tale is nothing other than a myth. It has been put to the test on 55 occasions*, when it has been wet on St Swithin's Day and 40 days of rain did not follow. copied from projectbritain.com
* source: the book entitled 'Red Sky At Night'
What symbols are associated with St. Swithins?The emblems of St. Swithin refer to the legend of the forty days' rain (raindrops) and the apples from the trees he planted.
Apples and St. Swithuns
"St Swithin is christening the apples"There is an old saying when it rains on St. Swithin's Day, it is the Saint christening the apples.
Brand, Popular Antiquities, 1813, i, 342
Apple growers ask St. Swithin for his blessing each year because they believe: copied from projectbritain.com