Protective patrone in viticulture (also "Eismänner" or orally "Eismander", in France Saints Glaces ), or for the days of 12 to 15 May. On these days there are relatively often dreaded cold spells in Central Europe frost (Late frost) and snow. Before the end of this period, usually nothing is planted in the garden and no cattle are driven to the pasture. In the past, fires were also common for warding off the cold. The fact is that in the middle of May, after nice mild days, there are once again strong cold air thrusts from the polar regions due to a high over the UK or Scandinavia. The coming to Central Europe air is then cold and dry and the daytime temperature barely rises above 15 ° Celsius. In the clear nights there is especially ground frost and frost hazard. Already flowering plants like vines or trees can be severely damaged. From the middle of the month, the likelihood of this weather will then decrease again.
In 1582, by Pope Gregory XIII. (1502-1585) initiated calendar reform. A papal bull corrected the difference in the past 1,500 years by the Julian calendar by omitting 10 days. Friday, October 15, 1582, was followed by Thursday, October 4. The day of the "Cold Sophie" (May 15) was the day before the reform, which today is May 22. Therefore, it is often said that the effects of the "Ice Saints" therefore in the period from May 19 to 22 expected. However, this is objectively incorrect, because on a long-term average, the likelihood of frost from 12 to 15 May is higher than that from 19 to 22 May.
The ice saints are Pankratius (12th of May), Servatius (May 13) and Boniface (May 14). In northern Germany, the 11th May will also be part of it Mamertus and in Southern Germany and Austria the 15th of May with Sophie, the "cold Sophie" or "wet Sophie", added. A few of the numerous calendar quotes: