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Praying for no rain on Swithin's Day

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The United States has Groundhog Day, and Great Britain has Swithin's Day. They're sorta the same but not exactly.

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

SOUTHPORT, England -- It was blustery and cold here Tuesday. But it's not raining.

That's a good thing, considering Tuesday -- July 15 -- was St. Swithin's Day.

Think of it as England's answer to Groundhog Day. A reason for weather forecasters to wax on about something other than snowstorms in the U.S. or whether we'll have clouds or if it will be bright in the UK.

The legend says if it rains on Swithin's Day, there will be 40 more days of rain. If it doesn't, 40 good weather days will follow.

The day, it seems, was named after an advisor to Egbert, who was King of the West Saxons. Swithin was eventually consecrated as Bishop of Winchester on Oct. 30, 852, and he was originally buried along the north wall of Winchester Cathedral where parishioners could walk over his grave when it rains.

The body was moved on July 15, 971, after which there was a great storm.

Does the legend work? Probably about as well as the ifs surrounding Groundhog Day.

On Tuesday, there was no rain at Birkdale, but, since it overlooks the Irish Sea, there will probably be some later this week.

Like we said, something for the forecasters to babble on about. And just some mental lint for everyone else.

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