Saint Swithin’s Day is dedicated to the miracles of Saint Swithin, Bishop of Winchester. Many legends and miracles are associated with him, so a special day was dedicated to him. One legend claims the weather on July 15 determines the weather one can expect in the next 40 days. There is no scientific evidence that the weather conditions on July 15 affect the following days. Probably Saint Swithin’s Day is celebrated in memory of the bishop’s miracles.
Saint’s Day is a tribute to an Anglo-Saxon bishop who served 11 years at Winchester, from 852 to 863. At this time, the bishop became patron of Winchester Cathedral. Unfortunately, there is no documentary evidence of the miracles performed by Swithin, only legends. Despite few facts, Saint Swithin’s Day is quite common in the UK; moreover, more than 40 churches have been built in his honor.
- In the UK, folklore about the wrath of the bishop, which manifests itself in thunderstorms, is widespread.
- During his lifetime, the bishop loved people and wanted them to have access to the relics, so he laid out a cemetery at a church and had himself bury there. In 863, the will of Swithin was fulfilled: for a hundred years he laid in the cemetery. His relics were then transferred to another place, as they considered it inappropriate for the saint to rest with the common people. This was followed by a terrible thunderstorm, and thus began the legend of the wrath of Saint Swithin.
- There are other legends associated with this bishop, based on changes in the weather in the middle of summer.
How to take part
If you get a chance, visit Winchester Cathedral and listen to the fascinating stories of St. Swithin. The history of the cathedral itself is no less interesting; many legends and myths are associated with it. Watch the weather and draw conclusions; see whether it really remains unchanged for 40 days.
When is Saint Swithin’s Day celebrated in 2023?
Saint Swithin’s Day is observed on July 15 each year.