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GRANDMA SAYS: Praying for a dry harvest

Around St. John’s Day, the perennial herb St. John’s wort blooms. It is a tradition to pluck some on St. John’s Eve.. Alexander Raths
Around St. John’s Day, the perennial herb St. John’s wort blooms. It is a tradition to pluck some on St. John’s Eve.. Alexander Raths - 123RF Stock Photo

Yesterday was the feast day of John the Baptist, or St. Jean-Baptiste.  How does this relate to the weather? I’ll get to that in a moment.

On June 24, many people around the world celebrate. In France the origin of the holiday was the pagan celebration of the summer solstice – a celebration of light and a symbol of hope. The holiday became Christianized and the French who settled in North America in the 1600s continued to celebrate the event. The annual celebration grew and, in 1925, the Quebec legislature declared June 24 a holiday.

Back to the weather.

Before grandma went to bed on June 23 she would go outside and hang her prayer beads on the clothesline to keep the rain away. Perhaps I should have done that Saturday evening. It rained on Sunday. I grew up on a farm so I understand that rain is not a bad thing, unless it falls on June 24. According to weather lore, if it rains on St-Jean-Baptiste Day, you can expect a wet harvest.   

Speaking of harvest, around St. John’s Day, the perennial herb St. John’s wort blooms. It is a tradition to pluck some on St. John’s Eve.  Maybe next year.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, June 24 is referred to as St. John’s Day and observed as Discovery Day on the nearest Monday. On June 24, 1947, Italian explorer John Cabot, while aboard his ship the Matthew, first saw the land that is now Canada.   

So much to be grateful for, rain or shine.

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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