Dating back to around 500 AC farmers prayed to the ice saints (les Saints de Glace) to protect their crops from damage. As we approach May, growers are holding their breath and hoping that we’ll not have an episode of late frost this year. There is much superstition surrounding particular dates that is linked to saints – the ice saints. Here they are:
Saint-Georges (Jourget) 23rd April
Saint-Marc (Marquet) 25th April
Saint-Eutrope (Troupet) 30th April
Sainte-Croix (Crouzet) 3rd May
Saint-Jean Porte Latine 6th May (a saint that closes the door to the cold!)
And even later we have
Saint-Mamet (Sant Mamert) 11th May
Saint-Pancrace (Sant Pancraça) 12th May
Saint-Gervais (Servais) 13th May (the most feared date and the last!)
So, it’s not until after the 13th of May that growers start to loosen up a bit and relax. There is a French expression ‘avant Saint-Servais, point d’été, après Saint-Servais, plus de gelée’.
In reality we can still have a frost here right up until the end of May. The forecast is looking positive for the next 10 days with a dip down to 2° tomorrow night. I’ll keep you posted.