by Çağrı Berk Satır

The fact that rainy days have a profoundly negative impact on the mood of most of us can not be disregarded. Except for some, people undoubtedly feel a deep depression and sadness, which suddenly and ambiguously emerge, when they see the water flowing down through the window. However, have you ever thought of this rain, which makes these sadness and depression rise, takes 40 days and 40 nights to end? It sounds disastrous, doesn’t it? 


 St. Swithun, one of Winchester’s most well-known bishops, was a well-respected person in his day for his selfless acts on behalf of the community. One of these kinds of deeds is a bridge that crosses the River Itchen named St. Swithun’s Bridge. Thanks to the bridge, the poor could pass the river and sell their products in the city. 


 In contrast to other religious figures, his demand was to be buried outside in a simple tomb instead of inside a prominent place in Winchester Cathedral. ‘where the sweet rain of heaven may fall upon my grave’, he said


 After he passed away in the 9th century, he was buried outside the cathedral just as he demanded. However, an attempt of moving his body on July 15, 871 caused a rain continuing for forty days and nights. In the end, the saying rose: 

St Swithun’s day, if thou be fair,  

For forty days it will remain.  

St Swithun’s Day, if thou bring rain,  

For forty days it will remain.


 According to the myth, if it rains on St. Swithun’s day, it will rain for the next 40 days and nights. However, if the day is dry, the next 40 days and nights will be dry. 


 In 971, when his relics were transferred from outside to Winchester Cathedral, there was no report of rain. However, a few still took this myth seriously!



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