Today is July 15th, the feast day of St. Swithin, a minor holiday that acts as a combination of church folklore and Groundhog’s Day.
In life, St. Swithin was a 9th-century Bishop of Winchester who went largely unheralded in his own time. However, he allegedly begged on his deathbed to be buried out in his own churchyard, that the rain and the steps of passers-by might fall on his grave. For reasons not entirely known to historians (one largely-debunked tale claims there was a torrential downpour when his body was re-interred in an indoor shrine), this weather-related request was the start of a legend that can be best summarized with this rhyme:
“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 mare”
So hope for sun, open a tin of kippers, and get posting, folks!