If it rains on St. Swithin’s day then it will continue to rain for a further forty days.
Hurray! Hurray! It was sunny and hot hot hot in Urmston today! (24 degrees). Hopefully we will have another nice Summer.
St. Swithin was a Saxon Bishop of Winchester and was originally buried (at his request), in a humble outside grave at Winchester.
9 years later the monks at Winchester moved his remains to a magnificent shrine inside Winchester cathedral on 15 July 971. Legend says that during the ceremony it began to rain and continued to do so for forty days.
It is also the longest day of the year (…..and the shortest night of the year).
It was a medieval custom to collect flowers on the longest day (ie for their healing properties). Typically, Apothecaries would gather herbs on this day (eg St John’s Wort, Chamomile, Geraniums, and Thyme).
To celebrate, they would light a bonfire and dance around it. Flowers collected on this day would release their fragrant aromas when thrown on bonfire (to eradicate bad luck and negative energy).