Forget Valentine’s Day. As proven by Netflix’s One Day adaptation, St. Swithin’s Day is the ultimate day of love.
One Day, which is based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls and dropped all 14 episodes on Thursday, begins on the night of Emma (played by This Is Going to Hurt’s Ambika Mod) and Dexter’s (The White Lotus’ Leo Woodall) graduation from a Scottish university. The pair cross paths at a grand celebration (nearly Saltburn-esque in its opulence, dare I say) and end up spending the night and much of the next morning together. While they don’t hook up, the evening becomes an almost spiritual one-night-stand as Emma (the quintessential studious hot girl hiding behind a pair of glasses) and Dex (the classic, careless bad boy rich kid) share inexplicable chemistry.
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It all goes down on July 15, 1988 — St. Swithin’s Day. And suddenly, an obscure British holiday has captured our imaginations. We just know we’ve witnessed something magical and wonder whether the auspicious date has anything to do with it.
But surprisingly, the British holiday isn’t inherently romantic — though a mid-summer dalliance sounds obviously more appealing than a middle-of-winter, candy-laden commercial affair. For Americans, falling in love on St. Swithin’s Day might be akin to falling in love on Groundhog’s Day. According to Pagan tradition, if it rains on St. Swithin’s Day it will rain for 40 days straight, but if the weather is nice, expect good conditions for the next 40 days instead.
And who is St. Swithin? He was a bishop of Winchester from 852 to 862, who requested to be buried outdoors so that rain could visit his grave. His body was ultimately moved indoors to a cathedral on July 15, 971 and a brutal storm followed.
While St. Swithin’s Day doesn’t involve romance, exactly, it does speak to a sort of romantic notion about fate and destiny — everything will fall into place depending on the events of one single day.
Even at the end of the One Day premiere, we understand that our protagonists are inextricably linked forevermore. After being interrupted by a visit from Dex’s parents, Emma heads home without a way to contact him. During her walk back to her flat — which was quite long and twisted now that we’re thinking about it — Dex comes running up behind her. He realized he didn’t have her phone number so he chased her down to exchange information. He invites her to a weekend at his parent’s place and she accepts.
Dex tells Emma he’ll see her around and Emma replies that she hopes he will. And we, the swooning viewers, already know that whatever magic St. Swithin’s Day does possess will be put to good use here.
What did you think of the One Day premiere? Are you eager to celebrate St. Swithin’s Day this year? Let us know in the comments, then grade the episode below!
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