Tomorrow is July 15th…my sister-in-law’s birthday but more importantly, no offense Karen, St. Swithin's Day!   Grandma and many of our ancestors waited patiently for the 15th of July to roll around.  According to folklore, the weather on St. Swithin's Day, is a snapshot of what’s to come for the next forty days.

St. Swithin or more properly Swithun ,was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester. He was born in the kingdom of Wessex and was famous for charitable gifts and building churches.

According to the legend, as the Bishop lay on his deathbed, he asked to be buried outside, 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. During the ceremony a rainstorm rolled through.  Many believed it was St Swithin’s show of disapproval. 

This led to the weather lore:  if it rains on St Swithin's Day (July 15th), it will rain for the next 40 days and a fine 15th July will be followed by 40 days of fine weather.  

While grandma believed this to be accurate, she did not take it literally.  She didn’t expect 40 consecutive days of rain, just a wet end to summer!

Many farmers also believe that when it rains on St. Swithin's Day, the Saint is christening the apples.  Apple growers ask St. Swithin for his blessing each year.

And finally, Grandma always believed that no apple should be picked or eater before July 15th.

 

Chief Meteorologist

Cindy Day