Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Saintes de Glace

Posted by Rosie

Today is the last of 3 days which the French (and many other Northern European countries) call Les Saintes de Glace. I have heard this expression several times over the last couple of days so eventually asked a friend what it meant. Traditionally, the 11th, 12th and 13th of May are the feast days of three Ice Saintes and frequently the weather is said to turn cold, often with frosts around and just after this time. It is the reason many French people will not plant out any tender plants until after this date and for those gardening by the Moon they will even wait until the first full moon after the 15th. There are a couple of links here, the first in French and the second in English albeit rather brief:

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saints_de_glace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Saints

So - what has the weather been like? No frost as yet but yesterday was cooler and wetter of late and there was a thunderstorm this evening. I planted out the first of my courgettes a few days ago but since hearing about the Saintes de Glace, I have been watching the weather carefully ready to cover them with fleece if needs be. Not least because as the second article explains, with the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar the actual dates for the Saintes de Glace is now May 19th to 22nd!!

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