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The Weathercock

St. Swithin's Day

Jul 15

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain na mair"

~ Traditional

Depending on where you are, you may be hoping for more rain or dry skies. Watching the wind direction with a weathercock, or weathervane, is one easy way to forecast the weather! Or create your own weathervane with this lively jig and balancing in line with the corner couples and note the equivalent wind direction by labeling the couples North, South, East West in this 4 couple set. Besides the weathercocks, take note of weather divination folklore for St. Swithin’s Day, used to predict the upcoming weather in times past. St. Swithin was bishop of Winchester from 852 to 862. At his request he was buried in the churchyard, where rain and the steps of passersbys might fall on his grave. But according to legend, after his body was moved inside the cathedral on July 15, 971, a great storm ensued, leading to the expectation of continuing rain on this day! May you have the forecast of your choice for your next dancing venture! ☔☔☔ 🐓 🧭 🌧️ ⛈️

The Weathercock

Weather vanes, also known as wind vanes or weathercocks have typically been used as an architectural ornaments at highest point of a building and have featured at the top of many European churches.

 

Weathercocks often featuring the traditional cockerel design with letters indicating the points of the compass, hence the name.

 

Theories about the origin of weathercocks on church steeples include the symbolic representation of clergy calling the people to prayer for the new day.

In the 9th century, it was decreed that all churches must show the symbol of a cock on the dome or steeple, as a symbol of Jesus' prophecy that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed on the morning following the Last Supper.

 

In the Bayeux Tapestry of the 1070s, there is a depiction of a man installing a cock on Westminster Abbey.  See below.

The oldest weather vane with the shape of a rooster existing at the world is the Gallo di Ramperto, made in 820 and now preserved in the Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia, Lombardy.  

 

Whether your weather this month is sunny or stormy, and no matter which way the wind is blowing, consider a "Damn the Weather" cocktail of vermouth, gin, orange juice and triple sec, by clicking the picture below for the recipe.

 

See a performance of The Weathercock below, at the Newcastle Festival, by the Newcastle RSCDS, 2013. 

And to examine the Bayeux tapestry in more detail, click it!

The Weathercock

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Weathercock

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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