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Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day (15 July)

Liz the Squeak 15 Jul 10 - 01:51 AM
ClaireBear 15 Jul 10 - 02:18 AM
Sooz 15 Jul 10 - 03:10 AM
Richard Bridge 15 Jul 10 - 03:46 AM
Will Fly 15 Jul 10 - 04:00 AM
bubblyrat 15 Jul 10 - 04:01 AM
Will Fly 15 Jul 10 - 04:06 AM
gnomad 15 Jul 10 - 04:12 AM
John MacKenzie 15 Jul 10 - 04:14 AM
Liz the Squeak 15 Jul 10 - 05:02 AM
fat B****rd 15 Jul 10 - 05:32 AM
The Borchester Echo 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 AM
Sugwash 15 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM
Bat Goddess 15 Jul 10 - 06:50 AM
Dead Horse 15 Jul 10 - 09:04 AM
pavane 15 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM
Tug the Cox 15 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM
ClaireBear 15 Jul 10 - 12:03 PM
Micca 15 Jul 10 - 12:10 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM
Tug the Cox 15 Jul 10 - 03:31 PM
Tug the Cox 15 Jul 10 - 03:31 PM
VirginiaTam 15 Jul 10 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Jul 10 - 06:47 PM
mousethief 16 Jul 10 - 12:42 AM
BusyBee Paul 16 Jul 10 - 04:09 AM
Allan C. 16 Jul 10 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jul 10 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,crazy little woman 16 Jul 10 - 11:18 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 01:51 AM

'Tis the 15th of July as the song goes, and the feast day of St Swithun, an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral.

After several miracles during his lifetime, he died on 2 July 862, and gave orders that he was not to be buried within the church, but outside in a vile and unworthy place. A hundred years later, he was moved from his grave to an indoor shrine in the Old Minster at Winchester, traditionally on 15th July; whereupon it started to rain and didn't stop until his body was returned to the original grave some 40 days later.

So, if it is raining where you are today, then sorry, you've got it til the end of August!

I am happy to report that here in London, although it did rain a while ago, it was a short shower and came before 7.00am - and as we all know, 'rain before seven, fine by eleven'.... and we could use the moisture (don't worry, it seems to work fine with daylight savings time)!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: ClaireBear
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 02:18 AM

Thank you, Liz, for the reminder that it will indeed soon be
that most wondrous saint's day, on which it will be my most solemn duty to sit on my front porch, sip cooling drinks, and exchange pleasantries with the neighbors about the weather! My kind of celebration, indeed.

C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Sooz
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:10 AM

One of the few weather sayings firmly rooted in meteorological fact.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:46 AM

'St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.'

It is now not raining in ME3, and I am forecast a dry day until 4 am (on the 15th) although cool-ish (top temp 20) and windy.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:00 AM

One of the few weather sayings firmly rooted in meteorological fact.

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.

* source: the book entitled 'Red Sky At Night'

It's only logical isn't it? For the legend to be true, the weather all over the UK would have to stay exactly as it was for 40 days from today. Hardly likely.

The 5-day forecast from the Met Office for my area shows a mixture of sun, showers, wind, etc. However, if we do get 40 days of rain here, I'll certainly let you all know. :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: bubblyrat
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:01 AM

Devilish windy in Marlow at present,but no precipitation per se ; perhaps we'll get away with it on this occasion ? I don't fancy forty wet days with the school holidays coming up, Karen being a teacher an' all.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:06 AM

Just a thought: perhaps St. Swithin should be the Patron Saint of hosepipes...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: gnomad
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:12 AM

Not raining in Whitby, but the ground is soaking from rain in the early hours. Forecast for tomorrow is fine with rain in the early hours.

Six weeks of the same would do our tourist-based economy a power of good. I'm less certain about that the farmers will like it, they sometimes seem to disapprove of all weather.

South-west winds is good too, but they look a bit stronger than ideal.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:14 AM

Been pouring rain here for the last 9 hours, and it doesn't look like it's about to cease.
Let's hope St Swithun's little ditty isn't true.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 05:02 AM

It does actually have a basis in meteorological fact...

The beginning/middle of July usually heralds a set pattern in the weather fronts sweeping across the UK. If the pattern is fair, then it remains settled and fair for about 6 weeks. If the weather is unsettled (showers), then that is what we get for those 6 weeks. The "tradition" that it always rains on Bank Holiday Monday in August has the same meteorological basis.... the set pattern of weather fronts break around the end of August.

Unfortunately, I can't cite my sources as I heard this about 25 years ago before 'tinternet were invented proper like.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: fat B****rd
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 05:32 AM

It's hissing down in Dunfermline. My fault for planning much gardening.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:29 AM

Thinking back now,
I suppose you were just stating your views
What was it all for
For the weather or the battle of Agincourt
And the times that we all hoped would last
Like a train they have gone by so fast
And though we stood together
At the edge of the platform
We were not moved by them


With my own hands
When I make love to your memory
It's not the same
I miss the thunder
I miss the rain
And the fact that you don't understand
Casts a shadow over this land
But the sun still shines from behind it.


Thanks all the same
But I just can't bring myself to answer your letters
It's not your fault
But your honesty touches me like a fire
The polaroids that hold us together
Will surely fade away
Like the love that we spoke of forever
On St Swithin's day.

(Billy Bragg)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Sugwash
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM

Trying to look on the bright side in wet and windy Plymouth. Doesn't the fact that St Swithun's sad death and extended and mobile funeral predated the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar, where those cheeky Catholics diddled the country out of 10 days, mean that the actual St Swithun's Day is the 25th of July? We can only hope!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:50 AM

I first heard about St. Swithin's Day from my father -- who was a product of the US Midwestern farming community. (Early 20th century Colby, Wisconsin Germanic Lutheran tradition.) I never heard it from any other source until I started reading about folklore and weather proverbs, etc.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Dead Horse
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 09:04 AM

Global wettening!
Should I be building a boat?
Pass me a cubit somebody.......:-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: pavane
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 11:36 AM

Only 90m sea rise when the polar ice caps melt (or was that 190m)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM

Today's Guardian weather watch gives the meterological background. As long as you don't take it literally it is a pretty good example of long term weather patterns. By this time, the weather has generally settled down to prolonged high pressure, or a succession of Atlantic fronts ( as in the past few years). If we miss a settled period now, we're not likely to get another till early Sept ( normally just as the kids go back to school)
Thundery rain, like today, is common in otherwise dry summers.
All this applies to UK only, though similar patterns may pertain in western Canada around 50 degrees North.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: ClaireBear
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 12:03 PM

A lovely clear morning here in California, and 'twill be fine and warm later on, but with a ribbon of fog to cool the coast. I suppose I can manage six weeks of that.

C


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Micca
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 12:10 PM

Ah but Clair, what of the wine harvest??


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 02:27 PM

If weather is mixed on 15th, then you are likely to get 40 days of mixed weather. If so, then the saying must be true, right?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:31 PM

Virginia.....not to be taken literally!!!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 03:31 PM


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 04:18 PM

I was just joshin Tug.

Love Tamara (not to be taken literally)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 06:47 PM

Happy St. Swithun's Day to YOU, Liz. Thanks for the good wishes.

We are having typical summer weather here in the Midwest. Hot days relieved by violent storms. The tomatoes seem to love it.

Wasnit there a reference to St Swithun somewhere in the fiction of James Thurber? It may have been in that story about rhe princess who wanted the moon.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: mousethief
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 12:42 AM

House of Clocks

I once had a gilded clock
Constructed in la Belle Epoque
The hour hand broke, now it won't turn back
So long, so long, so long

I once had a sundial too
But green and wild my garden grew
The undergrowth obscured the view
So long, so long, so long

Not a word could make her stay
The East wind blows the sun away
Oh I lost her on St. Swithun's day
Oh why?

I grew up in a house of clocks
And late at night I'd sometimes walk
Listening to their rhythmic talk
So long, so long, so long

Clocks that sang in ringing chimes
To take the measure of the times
Clocks that spoke in wordless rhymes,
So long, so long , so long

Not a word could make her stay
The wine is spilt and flows away
I lost her on St. Swithun's day
Oh why?

by Al Stewart


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: BusyBee Paul
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 04:09 AM

St Swithun's Day to me is "Dad's Birthday". He'd have been 93 yesterday. I thought I was coping OK with it (he died two years ago) but totally missed this thread - maybe I wasn't as "with it" as I thought.

Happy days.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: Allan C.
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 05:59 AM

I first heard of St. Swithun's Day through an expression I encountered in West Virginia. When an old farmer I knew wanted to express the opinion that something would probably never happen, he would say it would happen on St. Swithun's Day. My guess at the time was that he assumed that nobody knew when St. Swithun's Day was and so, in his mind, was equivalent to never. I don't know if the expression was used by others in the area.

He was also often known to say that something impossible would happen on the "31st of Juvember when the fall beans is ripe."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:12 AM

Thanks for the fine poem, mousethief.

Allan, I enjoyed your observations.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Happy St Swithun's Day
From: GUEST,crazy little woman
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:18 AM

Has anybody else been reading this thread with a puzzled frown, wondering whether it isn't supposed to be 'Swithin'?

Well, here's the answer:

Saint Swithun or Swithin (Old English: Swīþhūn; died c. 862) was an Anglo-Saxon bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. His historical importance as bishop is overshadowed by his reputation for posthumous miracle-working. According to tradition, the weather on his feast day (15 July) will continue for forty days.

Now I wonder if the spelling 'Swīþhūn' means that his name had a long U and was originally pronounced Swith-OON, like Sas-SOON. It seems to me that someone named Swith-OON would have more mastery over clouds than a mere SWITHin.


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