Wednesday, July 15, 2009

St. Swithin's Day

How many people have heard of Saint Swithin?

According to legend, Saint Swithin was a Saxon bishop of Winchester, who on his deathbed wished to be buried outdoors. For the first nine years following his death, his grave was situated outside, but then his body was moved to an elaborate shrine inside the Winchester Cathedral. During this ceremony, a huge storm whipped up reflecting the bishop's despair of being re-buried indoors.

In later times, a myth developed around Saint Swithin that if rain falls on his memorial day, July 15h, then rain will continue to fall for the next 40 days. If the weather is fine on the 15th, the next 40 days will also be fine. There is even a rhyme to explain this:

St Swithin's Day, if it does rain
Full forty days, it will remain
St Swithin's Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t'will rain nae mare

Apparently, most of the Brits think this story is daft; all I can say is that it rained today in London, so will keep you posted on the 40 days of more rain. Although in retrospect, that prediction is not necessarily going out on a limb in London, now is it?

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