The Everyday Lore Project

1 July 2020 – St Serf’s Day

1 July 2020 – St Serf’s Day

Today I actually remembered to say White Rabbits which was a good start. It’s St Serf’s Day. Yup, me neither, and no, not washing powder. St Serf’s Day is known for its weather prediction. A lot of July is known for its weather predictions as I’ve mentioned in this month’s #FolkloreFOMO post (please do check it out and join in!). It’s said that:

If the 1st of July be rainy weather,
It will rain more or less for four weeks together.

Thus also overlapping all the other rain warnings this month, potentially making it particularly soggy for weeks to come. But it hasn’t rained. Yet. There’s a suspiciously dark slate blanket over the rooftops towards the Downs which doesn’t look good. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed. You might want to join me.

As well as sky watching, I also took advantage of some of my leftover St John’s wort today. It’s said that the wearing of powdered St John’s Wort around the neck in a bag in July will improve mental health, cure the vapours (I am always on the lookout for vapour cures) and give a boost in the old love department. Which definitely sounded like something I should be doing.

However, stuffing a bag down my bra for the next 31 days felt impractical and itchy. So I found an old locket and chain and used that instead. As ever, I swapped pestle and mortar for electric grinder, which was a good call as it took ages to grind down into powder. But when I opened the container back up, the light smell of earth and fruit and hay was quite overwhelming. I can still smell it now through the cracks in the silver. As my locket isn’t completely airtight, I over ground on the expectation I’d need backup for a refill. I’ve just checked and I’ve lost about a quarter already, but that’s less than I thought it would be. So now all I have to remember to wear it. It’s quite jangly. And it weighs a tonne. But I do this for folklore. And to avoid the vapours. 

Welcome to July. 


Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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