The Everyday Lore Project

24 August 2020 – St Bartholomew’s Day

24 August 2020 – St Bartholomew’s Day

It was supposed to be nice today. It was supposed to be sunny. I wasn’t supposed to hear people shrieking as they ran along my road, hurtling into doorways to avoid the rain. For it is said that:

St Bartlemy’s mantle wipes dry 
All the tears that St Swithin can cry

You see, it’s forty days since St Swithin’s Day, and therefore St Bartholomew was supposed to staunch the loury welkin. Except it didn’t actually rain on St Swithin’s, so maybe what I observed today was a perverse reverse of what the weather should have been. 

Well whatever it was, the lashing doesn’t bode well, for it is also said:

If St Bartholomew’s Day be fair and clear,
Then a prosperous autumn comes that year. 

2020 is definitely the gift that keeps on giving. Especially as now:

St Bartholomew
brings the cold dew

Which doesn’t sound good. I’m really not ready to relinquish summer just yet. Besides, with it being back to school next week, surely that’s the signal for the traditional cosmic joke of a final heatwave? Fingers crossed.


Blackburn, B. and Holdford-Strevens, L. (2003) The Oxford Companion to the Year. An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-Reckoning, Oxford, Oxford University Press

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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