Swithin’s Day looms: 40 days of sunshine

Is it St Swithin’s Day already? Tisn’t, but the eagerly-awaited feast day falls this coming Monday, and with it the promise of 40 days of dry weather, should the day pass without rain – if the old legend is true.

Is it St Swithin’s Day already? Tisn’t, but the eagerly-awaited feast day falls this coming Monday, and with it the promise of 40 days of dry weather, should the day pass without rain – if the old legend is true.

And the omens look good, with local psychic Mystic Moira recently predicting a stunning summer of good weather. Weeks ago, the Bennettsbridge-based clairvoyant told the Kilkenny People there was plenty reason to be cheerful.

Temperatures in Kilkenny have soared this week, hitting a yearly high of 28 degrees yesterday (Tuesday). That’s the hottest day here since 2006.

People have been out in droves enjoying the sunshine, in the Castle Park in the city, and around the county at various watering holes and amenity spaces. City vendors have reported a huge spike in the hitherto largely-stagnant ice-cream market, but it’s not all good news – local pharmacies have confirmed unprecedented demand for anti-histamine s, with people struggling to cope with a very high pollen count.

If this lasts until Monday, July 15 (St Swithin’s Day), there will be 40 days of it. However, if it rains on Monday, we can apparently expect 40 days of rain. Which option farmers would prefer is debatable.

St Swithin was an anglo-saxon cleric who was consecrated in 852. He is best known for the weather proverb:

“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 mair.”

People involved in Kilkenny’s local cider industry should also be aware not to harvest their crop until after next Monday, because St Swithin has not yet blessed the apples.