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One Day St Swithin's Day

One Day: What is St Swithin’s Day and why is it so symbolic in the show?

The way this has broken my heart a million times more


I don’t think I’ll ever recover from Netflix’s One Day. That final box room ghost scene will remain my Roman Empire for probably the rest of my life. The soundtrack? Chef’s kiss. The filming locations? Stunning! And Leo Woodall? Even more stunning.

So obviously the show’s premise is that it’s set on the same day every year from the 90s to the 2000s. But that date is the 15th July, which also happens to be St Swithin’s Day. They make reference to it a whole lot in the show, but what does it actually mean?

So, what is St Swithin’s Day?

St Swithin’s Day is the 15th July and it comes from old folklore that says if it rains on that day, it will rain for the next 40 days after that. But if it doesn’t rain and the weather is “fair” then 40 days of “fair” weather will follow.

The old poem, which Dexter partially quotes in the show, goes like this: “St Swithin’s Day, if it does rain, full forty days, it will remain. St Swithin’s Day, if it be fair, for forty days, t’will rain no more.”

One Day St Swithin's Day

St Swithin was bishop of Winchester from 552 to 862. Unlike other religious figures, he asked not to be buried in a prominent place in Winchester Cathedral, but outside in a tomb “where the sweet rain of heaven may fall upon my grave”. Bitter or what?

Weather experts say that since records began in 1861, there has never been a record of 40 dry or 40 wet days in a row following the 15th July, so there’s probably not much actual truth in it.

But why is it so important and symbolic in the show?

Throughout the show, Dexter tells Emma that it’s St Swithin’s Day. In the first episode when they first meet. he says: “You know, there’s a poem. If on Saint Swithin’s Day, it doth rain something, something, something remain.” Emma replies: “Dexter, that’s beautiful.”

But it’s actually massively symbolic. So, obviously the tale goes that if it rains on the 15th July then only rain will follow for the next 40 days. And throughout all the years we first follow Dex and Emma, every single time it doesn’t rain. Each and every St Swithin’s Day is dry and sunny because (don’t cry) they have each other.

One Day St Swithin's Day

But, (spoiler alert! Please stop reading if you haven’t watched the full show) on the final 15th July Emma is alive, it is pouring down with rain. She goes out on her bike in the pouring rain and is knocked off and killed. This is the first St Swithin’s Day in the entire series where it has rained. This means that for Dex, the rest of his days were going to be rainy, because he lost Emma.

Stop this right now. I’m literally never going to recover

One Day is available to watch on Netflix now. For more like this and all the latest Netflix drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

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