Cape Breton Post

A look ahead to the fall harvest

- CINDY DAY weathermai­l@weatherbyd­ay.ca CindyDayWe­ather Cindy Day is chief meteorolog­ist for SaltWire Network.

Happy Saint John the Baptist Day or Fète de la St. Jean.

Many people around the world celebrate this day on June 24. 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.

Grandma or Mémère was born in Quebec. For Grandma, June 24 was more than a national holiday. It was another one of those days that could offer some insight into the weather.

Many believed that the weather on this day gave them an idea of what was in store for the harvest.

Before grandma went to bed on the 23rd, she would go outside and hang her prayer beads on the clotheslin­e to keep the rain away. I grew up on a farm and understand that rain is not a bad thing, unless it falls on June 24. According to weather lore, if it rains on the feast day of Saint John the Baptist, you can expect a wet harvest. If our ancestors are correct, we are in for a good fall harvest.

This day also comes with a flower: St. John's wort is considered a special plant because its bright yellow flowers look like the sun, which is a significan­t coincidenc­e around the longest day of the year. The flowers are heliotropi­c, meaning they follow the sun from east to west as it crosses the sky.

Speaking of the sky, there will be a special treat overhead after sunset tonight - a Full Strawberry Moon. Many people believe that it's never safe to put delicate annuals in the garden until after the full moon in June.

No more excuses!

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 ??  ?? Around the time of the solstice, St. John's wort is considered a special plant because its bright yellow flowers look like the sun.
Around the time of the solstice, St. John's wort is considered a special plant because its bright yellow flowers look like the sun.

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