July

July2020

The British weather in July has never been reliable. A proverb of 1732: "If the first of July be rainy weather, 'Twill rain more or less for four weeks together."

July is our seventh month and is thirty-one days long a month of heat and sunshine. The Romans called it Quintilis, the fifth month, but after the death of Julius Caesar they renamed it in his honour. He was born on 12th July 102 B.C. Our Anglo Saxon forefathers termed it Hey-monat , because they then made their hay harvest; and also Maed-monat , from the meads being then in full bloom. Through the centuries the name of the month was known as Julio, luyl, and lule. It became July soon after the Great Fire of London in 1666, although for a long time after it was pronounced to rhyme with truly.

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Forty Days of Rain

July 15th is St Swithun’s day. Swithun was a Bishop of Winchester, in England, who lived around 1100 years ago.

He was born at Winchester in the year 800, and was a monk of the Abbey of Winchester, and after that, Archbishop of Winchester. On his death-bed he requested to be buried where the water from the “eaves” would drop on him. One hundred years after, it was thought a poor place for him to have been buried in, and the clergy were going to move his bones when a tremendous storm burst forth, and continued for forty days. Others say it came from a primeval Pagan belief concerning the weather on some day about that time and since then the idea has clung to St. Swithin’s Day.

From then until now it has always been said that:
“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 will rain na mair”

On 4th July’ 1775 the American colonists declared themselves independent of Britain, and Americans still celebrate Independence Day on 4th July.

In France 14th July is Bastille Day, a public holiday celebrating the fall of the Bastille, a hated and feared prison fortress in Paris, in 1789.

20th July is one of the most important dates in new history books. On that day in 1969 a man stood on the moon for the first time. Astronaut Neil Armstrong. As he stepped from the lunar module he said: “That’s one small step for man — a giant leap for mankind.”

On long hot July days, enjoy wild swimming – look out for frogs having been just changed from tadpoles swimming about in the ponds. The wild flowers of Spring have entirely disappeared. Climbing plants festoon the hedges. The wild hop, the bryony, the large white convolvulus, and others, deck the bushes with varied beauty, and breathe the Summer’s sweetness. In the fields, the scarlet poppy, the blue-bottle, the marigold, and the dog-daisy, may be seen in abundance. On the roadsides and ditches, among beautiful ferns, may be seen the tall foxglove, the musk-thistle, the wild thyme, and hosts of others, which brighten the day.

If you were born in July, your lucky flowers are lillies and your lucky gemstome is the ruby.

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