St Swithin’s Day 2021: When is it and why do people care about the weather? 

The legend of St Swithin’s day goes bath to the 17th Century (Image: Getty)

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Non-stop rain for 40 days throughout the summer holidays? No, thank you!

Across the UK the weather is a regular talking point of any conversation – whether that be us slating the cold or complaining about the heat.

According to traditional folklore, July 15 determines the weather for the next 40 days, come rain or shine.

Legend says – if it rains on St Swithin's day, it will continue to rain for 40 days non-stop. If it's sunny then it will continue for 40 days.

Explaining the tradition there is an old poem which reads:

"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 no more”

St Swithin’s Day takes place every year on July 15 and dates all the way back to the 17th century.

People are hoping for sunny weather as festivals are set to reopen
(Image: Getty)

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Who was St Swithin?

The name of the day and legend comes from a man called Swithin who was the Bishop of Winchester.

Upon his death, he asked to be buried in an important place within Winchester Cathedral, outside and in a single tomb “where the sweet rain of heaven may fall upon my grave”.

Swithin's remains were moved inside 100 years later to create a shrine, as he became the patron saint of the restored Cathedral in Winchester.

Legend has it that after the removal of his body from his tomb, a storm occurred causing terribly weather and rain for several weeks.

This summer has been a bit of a cold and wet one so far – Brits are hoping for some more sunshine
(Image: PA)

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It is said that people believed Swithin was unimpressed with the removal of his tomb and placement of his shrine in the Winchester Cathedral, so therefore his spirit caused 40 days of bad weather.

This legend continued for years, carrying into the present day.

It’s largely down to superstition but many people still hope for dry and sunny weather on the day of St Swithin’s.

And despite the old legend, no record since 1861 has shown 40 days of complete sun or rain following St Swithin's day.

We can still hope for sunshine and dry weather for the next 40 days after a long-awaited summer.

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