Patron saint in viticulture (also "ice men" or "ice cream" in France Saints Glaces ), or for the days from May 12th to 15th. On these days there are relatively often feared cold spells in Central Europe frost (Late frost) and snow. Before the end of this period, nothing is usually planted in the garden and no cattle are driven to pasture. In the past, fires were also used to ward off the cold. The fact is that in mid-May, after nice mild days, there are once again strong cold air advances from the polar regions due to a high over Great Britain or Scandinavia. The air coming to Central Europe is then cold and dry and the daytime temperature hardly rises above 15 ° Celsius. In the clear nights there is a particular risk of ground frost and frost. Already flowering plants like vines or trees can be severely damaged. From the middle of the month, the probability of this weather situation then decreases again.
In 1582 the Pope Gregory XIII. (1502-1585) initiated calendar reform. A papal bull corrected the difference in the Julian calendar that had occurred over the past 1,500 years by omitting 10 days. Thursday, October 4, Friday followed October 15, 1582. The day of “Cold Sophie” (May 15) was before the reform on the day that corresponds to May 22 today. Therefore, it is often said that the effects of the "ice saints" can therefore be expected in the period from May 19 to 22. However, this is not objectively correct, because on a long-term average the chances of frost from May 12th to 15th are higher than from May 19th to 22nd.
The ice saints are Pankratius (12th of May), Servatius (May 13th) and Boniface (May 14). May 11 will also take place in northern Germany Mamertus and in southern Germany and Austria on May 15th Sophie, the "cold Sophie" or "wet Sophie" added. A few of the numerous calendar sayings: