May 11, 2010

Cool Days

Ch-Ch-Chilly S-S-Saints

Spring may be in full swing, but May 11, 12, and 13 often revert to the colder days of winter, according to weather lore.

The Three Chilly Saints—Mamertus, Pancras, and Gervais (also called Mammertius, Pancratius, and Gervatius or Servatius)—often celebrated their feast days during a cold snap. Some called them the Ice Saints or Frost Saints, and many farmers held off planting until after the Three Chilly Saints’ days had passed.

Germans knew these days as the Icemen Days, and both the English and French watched for a late frost at around this time. St. Boniface (May 14) and the chilly “blackthorn winds” were sometimes associated with them, too.

- From The Old Farmer's Almanac