A region's weather may change greatly from day to day. People tried to predict the weather for thousands of years. A correct prediction was of paramount importance to sailors and soldiers, airmen and fishermen, travellers and farmers.

In the past, people in rural Ireland, who depended so much on the weather for sowing, reaping and harvesting of crops had a fairly reliable system of their own to predict the weather. They understood that all life on earth depended on the sun so they looked to the sun and planets, wind and water, bird and beast which all depended on the sun, for guidelines. The heavenly bodies were studied very carefully by our forefathers for any changes in the weather.

Everyone is acquainted with the St. Swithin's day story which says that rain on that day brings forty days of similar weather, but another prophesy, which may not be so well known, foretells that the twelve days before St. Swithin's day are a guideline for the twelve months which follow.

Galwolie, Cloghan - Photo © Seamus Sharpe
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