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Weather On St. Swithin’s Day: Will It Rain For 40 Days?

Weather On St. Swithin’s Day: Will It Rain For 40 Days?

What’s the weather doing outside your window today?

July 15th is St. Swithin’s Day, a church holiday honoring St. Swithin (also spelled Swithun), a medieval Ango-Saxon bishop and the patron saint of Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, England from 852 to 862.

We’ve written about St. Swithin before, particularly about the bit of old folklore that states that the weather on St. Swithin’s Day will determine the weather for the next 40 days.

If on St. Swithin’s Day, ye do rain
for forty days, it will remain.
If on St Swithin’s Day, it be fair
For forty days, t’will rain no more.

St. Swithin asked to be buried in the churchyard, where rain and the steps of passersby might fall on his grave. According to legend, after his body was moved inside the cathedral on July 15, 971, a great storm ensued.

In addition to his role in this old lore, St. Swithin is also one of the saints traditionally prayed to during periods of drought.

Is There Any Truth To It?

Like many weather lore sayings, this one has been passed down from generations. And as far as record keeping goes back, there hasn’t been rain or sun for 40 days following the weather on St. Swithin’s Day that historians can locate. While the thought of 40 days rain isn’t likely very appealing to most, chances are it doesn’t sound too bad to those experiencing drought conditions.

For those of you sweating it out under hot, dry skies, here’s hoping, in the name of St. Swithin, that you get your rain soon!

Read about the Man Who Could Make It Rain.

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  • LLFarm says:

    Oh please our Heavenly Father God, let it rain today, so it shall renew & refresh all our land!!!!!

  • Frutero says:

    The Thunder Moon came in shortly after 2:30 A.M., accompanied by long, low drumrolls of distant thunder. Today, the famous I-4 Corridor/ Thunder Road storms set in, and we should, indeed, have them every day until September… not because of blessed St. Swithin, but because of the Florida rainy season.

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

    Reading Farmers' Almanac on Tablet with Doggie

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