Friday, 1 July 2011
The Month of July
Henley Regatta began in 1839 with a single afternoon of rowing races on the Thames in Oxfordshire, but now the event lasts several days. It's an event that's attended in large numbers as a social occasion with a strict dress code: in the Stewards enclosure women must wear long dresses and straw hats, and men have to wear a blazer.
The Swan Upping is a count of all the swans on a 70 mile stretch of the River Thames, and takes place in July. Of course it's well known that the Royal family owns the swans on the Thames, so on this day they are counted and ringed to keep a record of the population.
On the 15th falls St. Swithins day, which predicts the weather for the next forty days:
St Swithin's Day, if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain.
St Swithin's Day. if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair'
Finally, on the 25th is the Whitstable Oyster Festival. Popular legend holds that Julius Ceaser was lured to England by the Whitstable Oysters: it's a thanksgiving celebration for the fishermen themselves in hope of a continuing good harvest.