The legend of 40 days of rain


Legend has it if it rains on the 15th of July it will rain for 40 days continuously. Because today is St Swithin’s day.

St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain

Full forty days, it will remain

St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair

For forty days, t’will rain no more

St Swithin

St Swithin was an Anglo-Saxon bishop who died in 862. He was made a saint over 100 years later and his remains were dug up and moved to a shrine in a cathedral on July 15 971 in Winchester.

Legend has it this so outraged St Swithin he caused it to rain uninterrupted for 40 days and nights.

Apparently though this only applies to the UK & Ireland.

But here is the thing, similar legend exist in other parts of the world.

France and Germany have  St Gervais day, which is on July 19, where it is also set to rain for 40 days

In the Netherlands they have Maria Siep on July 2/ Which is according to legend and the bible (Luke 1, 39-56) when Mary visited her cousin Elisabeth,the mother of John the baptist, Mary told Elisabeth on that visit that she was expecting a child who we now know would be called Jesus.The original day was July 2, but the Catholic church changed this feast day in 1969 to May 31, because July 2 was only 1 day after another feast day, the birth of John the Baptist. However the weather gods kept on July 2nd, hence if it rains on that day, guess what? Yes it will rain for 40 days in the Netherlands.

maria siep

Well it is raining in Ireland today(finally after nearly a month of no rain), so legend has it we will see a lot of rain for the next 6 weeks, although the weather forecast says we will have no rain tomorrow.


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  1. Moshe Ofer says:

    somehow you forgot to mention the origin of the these legend. it is the Tanakh story of Noah’s Ark.


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