New Feasts & Holidays column on St Swithin’s Day in the June/July issue of Renaissance Magazine.
Co-written with April Tucholke.
“St. Swithin’s Day (also called St. Swithun) was celebrated on July 15. While midsummer (June 24) was a festival that welcomed the new warmer season, St. Swithin’s was a time to rejoice in the plethora of summer fruits and vegetables. It was also a portentous day to predict the weather. An old tradition says that if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day, it would rain for 40 days after. In turn, a dry St. Swithin’s meant 40 days of drought. St. Swithin’s was the Renaissance version of Groundhog Day, but for the summer months, and without the rodent.”