The Ice Saints (Die Eisheiligen)

The next few nights are watched by gardeners here maybe not with dread, but certainly with apprehension…

The Ice Saints

  • Pankratius – Saturday, 12th May
  • Servatius – Sunday, 13th May
  • Bonifatius – Monday, 14th May
  • and the cold Sophie – Tuesday, 15th May

Based on centuries of observations, these dates are still considered to be the last frosts of the spring- at least in our region. Many well-known gardening and farmer proverbs in Germany focus on these Saints’ days. Geraniums, bedding plants, window boxes etc will generally not be seen before frosty Sophie has been and gone! And indeed, after temperatures of 30°C on Friday, Sunday night could bring a light ground frost. Now where is my garden fleece…

“Die kalte Sophie macht alles hie.”  – Cold Sophie spoils everything.

Are there similar dates or proverbs where you live?